Tag Archives: Slums

What is a Slum in Tanzania?

With time my perception changes. I can almost feel it. It’s due to the fact I am confused. What is poor and what is rich? At their extremes these terms are clear. But what’s going on in the middle? Whenever I see a dirt poor person with threadbare clothing and no shoes walking the streets the sign “poverty” flashes up in my head. But occasional local companions label such persons as “crazy”. So it starts to look like only the mentally ill are at the very bottom of the pyramid.

Housing is a similar case of confusion. What clearly looked like slums to me at the beginning is looking less and less so. I see unpaved roads, narrow pathways and no running water but then I see power lines running through such places and I see that most houses are built from bricks. Can this qualify as slum? Continue reading What is a Slum in Tanzania?

Dar es Salaam – Tanzania’s Megacity

It looks like around 4.8 mio people or 10% of Tanzania’s population are living in Dar es Salaam metropolitan area.  It is the economic and administrative hub of the country with a large harbor connecting to roads and rail leading out to the countryside. The airport connects to local and African destinations, plus to Amsterdam, Istanbul, Dubai and Abu Dhabi, some important international hubs. Dar has a problem with slums where many people live without running water or basic services. 70% of the city’s population is estimated to live in informal settlements, according to a World Bank estimate from 2002. Half of them live on less than $1 a day and are vulnerable to flooding and droughts. Dar is one of the world’s fastest growing cities, requiring circumspect city planning which is not happening fast enough.