2018 has been a year for floods. In March, excessive rains in East Africa killed nearly 500 people. In July, Japan saw heavy downpours which led to widespread devastation with more than 200 deaths. In August, another 300 people lost their lives in Kerala, India during the worst monsoon in nearly a century. And just this month, Typhoon Mangkhut has killed over a 100 in the Philippines while the east coast of the United States has witnessed unprecedented flooding as a result of Hurricane Florence.

In Tanzania, students from Ardhi University and the University of Dar es Salaam have completed the mapping of 228 subwards – identifying assets and threats to strengthen the understanding of climate risk at the local level, leading to greater flood resilience. Ramani Huria would not have been able to accomplish this without scaling up the project, working with well over 450 students for the past seven weeks.

To get an idea of the preparation for this work, check out our previous post here – but to get an inside look at how we conducted this year’s industrial training read on.

Summary of Seven Weeks


After orientation, Week 2 began with trash mapping to support a civic-led mass movement called Let’s Do It! World, whose goal is a clean and healthy planet. This was organized by their lead partner in Tanzania, Nipe Fagio, or “Give me the broom” in Swahili. The aim was to collect major trash points in Dar es Salaam. Students mapped 44 wards of the city by using OpenDataKit (ODK) – an Android application that we use to collect enormous amount of data. In total, 20,392 trash points were mapped. It is never a good thing to have so many trash points in a city, but by mapping them in advance we are able to strategize the efforts during World Cleanup Day on 15th September.

Methodology in Brief

Community meetings were held differently based on whether the subward was mapped or unmapped. There were 26 wards in Dar es Salaam that were mapped in detail during RH 1 in 2015, and 18 wards that were unmapped.

For the case of mapped subwards the exercise was a bit simpler because we already had data for them and printed a map on which community members identified assets and threats as well as any missing information. For the case of unmapped subwards, the task was a bit more complicated since it involved data collection of important features such as schools, hospitals, and open spaces on the specific wards, as well as cleaning that data. After this, students produced a map that community members then used as a base map in the community meeting to identify assets and threats on flooding, as well as missing information for students to recollect information so as to produce the final detailed map.

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