Community discussions on flood prevention at recent Tanzania Red Cross workshop
Ramani Huria was honoured to be part of a recent workshop organised by the Tanzania Red Cross Society as part of their project Zuia Mafuriko (Prevent Flooding). The workshop took place over two days, January 19th-20th 2016, and drew together a variety of stakeholders who play a role in flood prevention in Dar es Salaam. In addition to the Ramani Huria team, participants included members of Community Disaster Preparedness and Response Teams, Kinondoni Municipal council Executive Director, Tanzania Meteorological Agency (TMA), and Ruvu Water Basin Authority. Through the workshop, the various stakeholders shared their experience and supported the development of the Zuia Mafuriko project, including planned activities for Ilala and Kinondoni municipalities.
The workshop was officially opened on January 19th by the Kinondoni Municipal Council Executive. Also present was Nyambiri Kimacha from the Tanzania Red Cross Society and project manager for the Zuia Mafuriko project. She stated that the project will assist in the development of disaster preparedness and response plans for ten wards within Ilala and Kinondoni municipalities. The wards are some of the most flood-prone in Dar es Salaam and include Ndugumbi; Tandale; Buguruni; Magomeni; Hananasif; Mwananyamala; Vingunguti; Kigogo; Manzese; and Mzimuni. Through a partnership with Ramani Huria, the Tanzania Red Cross Society has been able to identify the most relevant wards for the Zuia Mafuriko project and has begun the work with valuable data about the selected areas. The work of Zuia Mafuriko is complementary to that of Ramani Huria, with both working towards providing citizens with data about their communities and improving flood resilience within Dar es Salaam.
Through a presentation entitled ‘Understanding the Weather Forecasts’, Elias Kipika from the Tanzania Meteorological Agency (TMA) gave the workshop an introduction to the wider context of the Zuia Mafuriko and flooding in Dar es Salaam. He stated that there is a limited understanding among the general population regarding weather forecasts, especially when warnings are issued for precautions to be taken. Following his presentation, the attendees discussed some of the challenges of disseminating weather forecast information, including issues arising when people may not have radios or TVs and therefore cannot be reached and informed through traditional communication channels. Elias Kipika acknowledged these challenges and highlighted ways in which his agency has begun innovative approaches, including an SMS service to target agriculturalists. Community members from the wards in which Zuia Mafuriko will operate also shared their experiences of flooding within their communities.
To conclude the first day, the workshop participants formed five smaller groups of five people for ‘Tough Talk’ sessions. The sessions were designed to facilitate each group to discuss and answer questions within a time limit around flood risk management – to quickly identify issues and opportunities for flood resilience in Dar es Salaam.
At the conclusion of the ‘Tough Talk’ sessions, each group presented their responses to the other workshop attendees. The key findings were displayed on the walls and these facilitated further discussions with other groups.
The second day was focused on the theme of ‘Preparedness action planning’, with attendees developing action plans for when weather forecasts are issued. Three groups of around eight participants assigned either short, medium, or long term forecasts. The groups created a list of actions to be undertaken if their respective forecasts were to be issued, including predicted associated costs, identifying responsible action centres, and expected time for each action. The groups then presented their ideas the rest of the workshop and received feedback on their action points and whether the plans accurately responded to short, medium, or long-range forecasts.
The workshop was closed with remarks on the way forward for the Zuia Mafuriko project. Those present were told that the plans they had created and the issues discussed throughout the workshop would be shared with the Ilala and Kinondoni Municipal Councils as they create their preparedness and response plans. Future workshops will be planned and the project aims to have continued community and stakeholder engagement.
The Ramani Huria team is excited for the future activities of Zuia Mafuriko and our continued partnership with the Tanzania Red Cross Society on flood prevention across Dar es Salaam.