Site visit

On Tuesday we visited the project site. Chamazi is situated about 20 km outside Dar es Salaam’s city center. We met with the Federation and Community members. We had the possibility to ask some further questions from the people living in Chamazi and afterwards we walked around in the community.

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Houses in Chamazi.

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Asking questions in the community.

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Walking around in Chamazi.

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First meeting with local organizations and community members

Today the project finally started. We met with the people participating in the project. There was the CCI (Center for Community Initiative), The Federation of Urban Poor and the Chamazi community members as well as local journalist students that help with translation during the project.

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In the picture above are the Chamazi community members and our group. We were discussing the project and asking each other questions to better understand what’s going to happen the following weeks.

Baday, Kwaheri! (See you tomorrow, good bye!)

Ready for Tanzania

Now we’re all on our way to Tanzania, and in a couple of days the official program of the field trip starts.

Before leaving for Tanzania we had one last project clinic to define the scope of the project. The essential questions were: What?, Who?, How?, Questions?, and What’s next? In the picture bellow you can see the outcome of our project clinic.

Affordable housing

We’re as ready and prepared as we can be for this project and trip, and we’re all really looking forward to it. Next time we’ll update the blog from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Affordable housing – defining the project scope

During the past week our team has been concentrating on defining the scope of our project. Our task is to find affordable housing solutions that could be implemented in the previously mentioned Chamazi community, and possibly in another community called Tandale, which is also located in the Dar es Salaam area.

As a quick summary, Chamazi is a developing community located about 20 kilometres from Dar es Salaam CBD. The inhabitants of the community settled in this area in 2008, when they were evicted from their previous living area Kurasini, that is located close to Dar es Salaam port. The Kurasini inhabitants faced a forced eviction due to the government’s decision to extend the port area and demolish parts of Kurasini, which was an informal settlement that therefore didn’t have a legal status. However, the previous Kurasini inhabitants were able to join their forces and with the support of domestic and international NGOs were able to purchase some land from the Chamazi area and resettle there. The area is now in the process of being planned and built, and some families have already been lucky enough to move in!

However, despite of their uniformity and tremendous amount of work, the community is facing difficulties related to the construction process of the new homes. Some of these problems are the price of the building materials and construction process, lack of knowledge about some construction techniques and many other issues related to the fact that the community is developing in an area that wasn’t much more than a patch of sand when the community bought it.

The community has received planning support from the planners in the NGOs and the previous year’s group of Aalto students, and we see that it is our team’s task to continue from there. Before our excursion to Dar es Salaam (beginning on the 23rd of this month!), we are trying to gather as much information and resources as possible. This week we have been learning some techniques related to project management, researching about the livelihoods of Dar es Salaam, finding information about traditional housing in rural and urban Tanzania and investigating some reference project related to affordable and sustainable housing.

As not to get carried away by all this overly excited research, here is a video that has kept us humble and patient this week:

At least they fed the hippos!

Kickstarting our project!

Hello world and everyone interested in following our project!

The first three weeks have been dedicated to background research and organisation within the group consisting of me (Amanda), Vilma, Lea and Annica.

Until now we have tried to create  an understanding of Tanzania, the city of Dar es Salaam, the Temeke district and the Chamazi area where our project takes place. So far we have kept our research open to learn about things such as climate, culture, livelihood, politics, develpment, etc. We have also started to practice workshop methods to use when we work with the community in Chamazi to formulate problems, objectives and strategy together with them. Furthermore me have met with the previous group of Aalto students who worked with the Chamazi community spring 2013.

Step by step we form a picture of the exciting experience we have infront of us!

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