Dar Ramani Huria is a community-based mapping project in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. Dar Ramani Huria (which is Swahili for “Dar Open Map”) is training teams of local university students and community members from throughout Dar Es Salaam to use OpenStreetMap to create sophisticated and highly-accurate maps of Dar es Salaam. These neighborhoods (known as wards) were selected because the are the most flood-prone areas of the city.

Every year during the rainy season, Dar suffers from devastating floods that wipe out roads, take out houses, and result in many deaths and millions of dollars worth of damages. The damage these floods cause could be prevented with adequate planning, but much of the city is made up of unplanned and informal settlements. That’s where the mapping comes in! By helping communities to map residential areas, roads, streams, floodplains, and other relevant features, the project will bring disaster prevention and response to areas that were previously off the map, literally. The project will also bring awareness of the need for flood prevention and risk reduction to the local level, while teaching participants valuable computer and mapping skills that they can put to use elsewhere.

When the maps are finished, they will be combined with other data in InaSAFE, a free software that enables users to run realistic natural disaster scenarios for better planning and response. As an added benefit, these maps will be publicly available online, available for download on this website, and also delivered in printed form to the local governing bodies of each ward.

Dar Ramani Huria is supported by the World Bank’s Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery. Established in 2006, the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) is a partnership of 39 countries and 8 international organizations committed to helping developing countries reduce their vulnerability to natural hazards and adapt to climate change. The partnership’s mission is to mainstream disaster risk reduction (DRR) and climate change adaptation (CCA) in country development strategies by supporting a country-led and managed implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA). GFDRR’s Partnership Charter, revised in April 2010, sets its original mission, rationale, and governance structure.