Government and Community Involvement in Environmental Protection and Flood Risk Management: Lessons from Keko Machungwa, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania


Since the 1960s, most cities in developing countries have faced a high rate of urbanization, which in turn has caused more harm to low-income earners, in urban areas. A majority of low-income earners most often face difficulties in accessing land in planned areas, as a result they are forced to build houses in unplanned settlements that are vulnerable to natural hazards. The situation is worse to the extent that people encroach the most vulnerable areas (hazard lands). As concentration of people increases, these unplanned areas become more unsafe to live in. This is partly due to the risks associated with natural hazards particularly flooding. Further, vulnerability of unplanned settlements in developing countries is aggravated by hosts of problems caused by many factors, including inadequate Government involvement in: environmental protection especially managing hazard lands and helping the community to minimize risks associated with hazards. This paper addresses this issue. It argues that community and Government initiatives are vital to any strategy for flood risk reduction and environmental protection in general. The study employed both the primary and the secondary data sources. Data collection tools and techniques involved in this study included: Checklist to various leaders, interview using questionnaires, focus group discussion, analysis of aerial photographs and non participant observation. A total of 70 households from within Keko Machungwa were interviewed. The study revealed that flooding is largely contributed by construction done by a large scale developer on a water course; and when affected community initiated a strategy to solve the problem they partially succeed due to inadequate support from the Government and other stakeholders. These findings could be useful to strengthen policy and legislation in environmental protection, management and flood control as well as in intervening land use conflicts between local community and developers.

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Sakijege, T. , Sartohadi, J. , Marfai, M. , Kassenga, G. and Kasala, S. (2014) Government and Community Involvement in Environmental Protection and Flood Risk Management: Lessons from Keko Machungwa, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Journal of Environmental Protection, 5, 760-771. doi: 10.4236/jep.2014.59078.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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