On September 26th, the new era of Ramani Huria 2.0 was officially launched at Julius Nyerere International Convention Center, an event attended by key project stakeholders, including government officials, university officials, Red Cross members, mapping experts, community members, and, of course, the students of Ramani Huria.
Professor Evaristo Liwa, Vice Chancellor of Ardhi University, gave opening remarks that commenced with a briefing on the previous iteration of Ramani Huria – a project that successfully produced maps for 21 wards of the city, home to approximately 1.3 million residents. He noted that this scaled up phase is expected to reach over 3 million residents of Dar es Salaam, doubling the pilot’s initial impact.
Professor Liwa’s speech focused on the role that collaboration has played in this project – highlighting the partnership between Ardhi University and the World Bank that has now transferred knowledge and skills in disaster risk management to over 400 students. “Through the support from World Bank and the Ramani Huria project, a good number of Ardhi University graduates have become professionals and employable in different sectors,” he reported.
Mr. Michael Ole-Mungaya, Representative of the Regional Administrative Secretary, was next to praise the project, now the world’s largest community mapping campaign. He commenced by noting that Dar es Salaam is a rapidly expanding city with a growing problem of inadequate waste collection, among other contributing factors to flooding. Following this, he urged that support for Ramani Huria continues from all sides, as it is through such collaboration that we can make our city more resilient.
World Bank Country Director, Ms. Bella Bird, further reminded us that Tanzania is the most flood-affected in East Africa, and that this burden weighs heavily upon the population from both a social and economic perspective. She emphasized the importance of scaling up a project like Ramani Huria and was happy to report that the World Bank will not cease its support.
“What makes Ramani Huria initiative unique,” Thomas Allen, Deputy Head of the UK Department for International Development (DfID), continued, “is Youth and Innovation”. Like Ms. Bird, he added that the UK is delighted to support such an initiative in its broader goal of improving urban resilience across the country.
To conclude the ceremony, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Ardhi University, The World Bank, and DfID as a formal agreement to increase cooperation among these partners for improving youth access to practical education on disaster risk management.
Signing memorandum of understanding
After a celebratory group photo, participants were then invited to attend an exhibition of the work that Ramani Huria 2.0 has accomplished thus far – including drainage mapping, flood extent mapping, infrastructure mapping, and emergency response.