Oval 377 Created with Sketch Beta. Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Due to the significant amount of nature-based work being conducted in Dar es Salaam, we have aimed to ensure that all project activities align with existing work and contribute to improved co-ordination and up-scaling in the city.

UNA Programme cities 2019


  • With a current population of over 6 million people, it’s population is the largest in all of East Africa.
  • The urban population is expected to increase by 61.5 million between 2010 and 2050.
  • The main rivers in Dar es Salaam are the Mpiji, Msimbazi, Kizinga and Mzinga Rivers.
  • Challenges related to solid waste and sewerage management, stormwater drainage and urban expansion are the main contributors to river degradation.
  • Many residents are located within floodplains and therefore flooding is a frequent problem.

Oval 377 Created with Sketch Beta. 2016 Achievements

In collaboration with ICLEI’s INTERACT-Bio project, UNA Rivers started developing a coordination matrix which aims to house information on all organisations in Dar es Salaam that are currently undertaking work relating to natural assets.

ICLEI engaged with the city’s master planning process by presenting recommendations for city planning to the Master Plan Committee. This included linking the Committee to important stakeholders and providing much needed information on the importance of biodiversity and ecosystem services.

Oval 377 Created with Sketch Beta. 2017 Achievements

The guideline, which aims to address the fundamental questions of HOW and WHY to plan for rivers in African cities, was presented to a range of stakeholders during two project trips, with their inputs and comments influencing the guidelines development.

A desktop study was initiated to compile existing and available natural asset data into a single database. The research included a preliminary analysis of the current state of natural assets identified in Dar es Salaam. The information (including GIS data) gathered can be used in the city’s planning processes.

Oval 377 Created with Sketch Beta. 2018 Achievements

Cities participating in the UNA Rivers Project, namely Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, Dar es Salaam in Tanzania and Lilongwe in Malawi were invited to attend and participate in a city to city knowledge exchange event in Entebbe, Uganda. Participating cities were able to share key challenges affecting their city’s development as well as share and learn about common African solutions which could be replicated in each city

During the UNA Rivers Project preliminary scoping meetings in 2016, ICLEI Africa was advised by the City of Dar es Salaam that whilst the City of Dar es Salaam boasts an excellent team of researchers, practitioners, NGOs and government officials all working on environmental issues within the City, there is limited coordination and integration of efforts leading to duplication of efforts and limited knowledge sharing.

A lack of coordination and subsequent integration of efforts is a major challenge in cities world-wide and is particularly problematic in cities that lack institutional capacity. As a result, short term and overlapping projects are often set in motion rather than longer term, multi-partner, cost-efficient and more integrated projects.

Improving institutional capacity to improve coordination of work is crucial in helping facilitate knowledge sharing and best practice lessons. Coordination helps to build partnership and ensures streamlining of work happening across the City. Coordination also promotes better communication and assists cities with preventing institutional duplication.

Based on the findings from the preliminary scoping planning meetings at the beginning of the UNA: Rivers Project, as well as subsequent meetings with (1) UNEP, (2) the World Bank, (3) the Regional Commission of Dar es Salaam (Hon. Paul Makonda) and (4) city officials from the five local municipalities in Dar es Salaam (Ilala, Temeke, Ubungo, Kinondoni and Kigamboni), ICLEI Africa offered to support the initial steps in achieving improved co-ordination by creating an ‘institutional map’ of projects and organisations working on environmental topics in the City of Dar es Salaam. This was supported by the relevant city officials.

During the course of 2017 and 2018, the institutional map was developed by ICLEI Africa with input from UNEP, the World Bank, the Regional Commissioner of Dar es Salaam as well as city officials from the five local municipalities in Dar es Salaam (mentioned above). The final version of the intuitional map was finalised in August 2018.

Tanzania is a country with exceptional biodiversity, drawing thousands of tourists annually. Tanzania’s National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP) outlines numerous actions needed to sustain the benefits of nature provided by the country’s rich biodiversity. However, the NBSAP requires significant support from the local municipalities within Tanzania in order to be realised.

Ilala Municipal Council, a rapidly growing local municipality from within the City of Dar es Salaam, was selected in February 2018 by Dar es Salaam City Council for the development of a Local Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (LBSAP). Through the UNA Rivers Project, ICLEI Africa facilitated several workshops throughout 2018 to not only support Ilala Municipality with the development of the content of their LBSAP but also to build institutional capacity within the municipality to implement it.

The Ilala LBSAP was initiated during the course of August 2018 and continued into 2019.

ICLEI Africa has a significant opportunity to influence planning for rivers in Dar es Salaam through reviewing legislation and policies, in partnership with the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Human Settlements Development Department (MLHHSD).

The 2007 Tanzania Planning Guidelines were developed in line with the Urban Planning Act (2007), the Human Settlements Development Policy (2000) and the Land Act (1999). (MLHHSD) have expressed a need to revise these guidelines to include the more up to date legislation as well as address urban challenges including, but not limited to, planning for urban natural assets and climate change. In 2018, research was initiated to develop detailed recommendations to guide an upgrade of the MLHHSD 2007 Tanzanian Planning Guidelines. The recommendations were made available in 2019 (see below).

As part of the UNA Rivers Project, ICLEI Africa aims to green and restore open spaces within Dar es Salaam to improve the livelihoods and wellbeing of local communities living within and around the city. To ensure that this work is needed, relevant and addresses specific needs of the communities on the ground, ICLEI Africa appointed a local service provider based in Tanzania, with a working knowledge of the open spaces in Dar es Salaam and the communities living in and around them, to develop a detailed plan for greening throughout the city.

This business case includes an analysis of all potential sites within the City of Dar es Salaam which could be ‘greened’ and restored, along with recommendations for each site on how it could be greened (e.g. to include food gardens, nature walkways, artworks and sculptures etc.). The business case will also include clear recommendations on which sites to prioritise within the city.The INTERACT-Bio project will be taking these recommendations forwards, implementing a pilot demonstration project. As such, the UNA Rivers project has paved the way for on the ground implementation.

The Talanoa Dialogues, launched at COP 23: UN Climate Conference 2017, were designed to take stock of and strengthen climate action globally. To support this process, a Cities and regions Talanoa Dialogue event (in the context of the UNA programme) took place in Dodoma, Tanzania in 2018. The event convened local, regional and national governments to drive multilevel climate action and the country’s national climate ambitions. Discussion on nature and nature-based solutions were at the forefront. See the Talanoa Dialogue report here. ICLEI Africa, as the focal point for local and subnational governments, then took the outcome of all Talanoa Dialogue consultations to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) intergovernmental process, thereby making the link between nature-based solutions and climate change stronger.

Oval 377 Created with Sketch Beta. 2019 Achievements

ICLEI Africa appointed a mural artist based in South Africa to paint a mural on Jamhuri Secondary School Wall on Kitumbuni Road in Dar es Salaam. The mural not only brightens up the busy streets of Tanzania but through its depiction of urban nature in Dar es Salaam, highlights to onlookers the value of nature for supporting communities in their day to day living (be it through the provision of food, shade or materials to support livelihoods).

A key component of the mural painting was to build capacity among the local TingaTinga artists within Dar es Salaam and transfer skills so that the artists can undertake similar work themselves in the future, adding to their already skills repertoire and improve their livelihoods at the same time.

The mural was completed in April 2019.

Building on activities initiated in 2018.The Ilala LBSAP was completed and launched in August 2019. As part of this launch, training was given to the other municipalities in Dar es Salaam to support with up- and out-scaling. A training manual is being developed and fialised to assit other cities.

Building on activities initiated in 2018 (see above) detailed recommendations were given to the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Human Settlements Development (MLHHSD) to guide an upgrade of the 2007 Tanzania Planning Guidelines.

Oval 377 Created with Sketch Beta. 2020 Achievements

Implemented online training for biodiversity and climate change awareness raising, urban tinkering, investment case/finance training & developing Local Biodiversity Strategy Action Plans.

Supported PORALG and Ministry of Lands with taking 2007 Tanzania Planning Guidelines Recommendations forward (evidence for institutionalisation), potentially aligning with a sustainability output for local governments.

Continued mainstreaming of natural assets into planning processes, using innovative virtual methods and entry points identified by each city (building on the dialogues, activities and processes initiated previously) whilst supporting wrap-up of project activities.

Oval 377 Created with Sketch Beta. Gallery

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