Building Flood Resilience, Tanzania

One of Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team’s biggest multi-year projects – Ramani Huria – wrapped up in 2019. The aim of the project was to map Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and better inform flood prevention and planning. Dar es Salaam is one of the fastest-growing cities in Africa with an estimated 6.7 million inhabitants – 70% of whom live in informal settlements, many without basic services. The city also frequently experiences severe flooding, and the poorest residents tend to be the hardest hit; in 2012, 10,000 people were displaced by floods. Since 2015, Ramani Huria, funded by the World Bank, has mapped flood-prone areas of the city for the first time. These maps will ensure that those at risk are counted when disaster strikes, and that planners and responders have the most accurate information possible to build community resilience.

In the last two years, Ramani Huria started a second phase to capture even more detailed and critical exposure and flood hazard information on the most at-risk neighborhoods to give communities the tools to build flood resilience themselves. The results were incredible. We:

  • mapped a third of the megacity

  • created data used in government risk assessments

  • engaged nearly 7,000 community member

  • trained nearly 1,000 students and local leaders to teach their communities how to collect data and play a part in flood mitigation programs.

The Ramani Huria project set forth a bold idea–that local people, using local devices and open knowledge, can build a foundation for urban resilience on a scale necessary to keep up with the growth of cities like Dar es Salaam. Ramani Huria will continue work in Dar es Salaam in this new phase and focus on undermapped parts of the city and health data for Covid-19. It is also being used as a model for other cities in Tanzania and around the world.


“The work Ramani Huria has done for Dar es Salaam is very important, as all the data collected are very useful not only to the Dar es Salaam City Council but to all people in this country who depend on data for their operations.”
- Kyaruzi Mutayoba GIS EXPERT, Dar es Salaam City Council


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A mapper collecting trash points along the river in Dar es Salaam. Credit: Chris MorganUniversity students during industrial training in 2018. Credit: Ramani HuriaUniversity students during industrial training in 2018. Credit: Ramani HuriaInformal settlement in Dar es Salaam. Source: drone image by Frederick Mbuya, UhuruLabs.

Project in Numbers

This project was supported by