The population of Tanzania is estimated at over 36 million persons, of which 30% live in urban areas. Urbanisation in Tanzania is growing rapidly, with cities like Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar growing at a rate of between 7 and 11% per annum. Tanzania is one of the poorest countries in the world, with high rates of unemployment and half the population living on less than $1 per day. 80% of Tanzanians derive their livelihoods from agriculture, although most of the urban population engages in informal activities and micro-enterprise. Progress has been made in Tanzania, however, and reforms in the country have proceeded with the reorientation of the economy to market-based operations and the creation of a framework for exploiting the large potential of private sector initiatives.
The Mwisho Quarters were constructed in the 1930s to house the staff of the colonial administration. The houses are a mix of detached, semi-detached and row houses. The houses were built of rendered brickwork with timber and tiled roofs, however they have deteriorated significantly since their construction. The housing density is relatively low and there are significant amounts of open space.
The houses have now been condemned by Temeke Municipality and the residents are therefore remaining in the properties informally without permission. No rent has been collected by the Municipality since the buildings were condemned.
Temeke Municipality have identified a need and an opportunity to upgrade the low density government workers’ housing that they own and manage in the Mwisho Quarters (also known as Temeke Mwisho) area close to the central business district of Temeke Municipality.
They intend to improve the use of this valuable land in the municipality by designing a scheme that provides space for commercial activities as well as housing. Currently the settlement is very low density housing with little encroachment onto public land. It will be possible to create space on the site through the densification of the housing without reducing the quality of the environment. This will make land available for commercial development, which will focus on retail and office space.
The community living on the Temeke Mwisho site would like to play an active role in the development of low cost housing and have formed a Federation of the Urban Poor, with a savings scheme, to give themselves a voice in the Municipal Council. The Federation is supported by the Centre for Community Initiatives (CCI).
The area of the site is approximately 11 hectares and contains 82 existing buildings housing a population of approximately 500 people.
Temeke Municipality currently own all of the land at Mwisho Quarters. They aim to sell, grant or lease this land to developers to build and manage the housing and commercial elements of the project.
Potentially the housing development could be carried out by a Housing Society formed by the Federation of the Urban Poor. This will enable them to reduce the costs to their members through cross-subsidy between the low-cost and market-rate housing.
The Housing Society would receive a loan for the construction costs from a commercial lending bank. They would be responsible for repaying this loan. The income for the repayments would come from the rental or sale of housing units to their members or to new residents of the site.
The municipality would be responsible for providing the infrastructure in the site that enables the development of the plots.
The local finance facility could provide a guarantee for the loan between the bank and the Housing Society. They could also provide technical assistance to the municipality for the packaging of the project as a whole and to the Housing Society for the development of the housing designs.
Expected results include tried and tested mechanisms for providing capital financing for slum upgrading in Dar es Salaam and for the Temeke Mwisho community; the provision of housing and infrastructure in the new site; improved quality of life in participating communities, and; and leveraged private bank participation in slum upgrading projects.
Improved living conditions for the low-income community of Temeke Mwisho and the development of a commercial centre for the Municipality.