2 expert meetings in Dar es Salaam

Meeting with Tim Ndezi founder of Centre for Community Initiatives (CCI)

Amanda had the opportunity to meet with Tim Ndezi one of two founders of the organisation CCI that is supporting the work of the Federation of The Urban Poor, were the New Chamazi community are members. We had a thorough discussion about our plans and ideas and discussed the affordability of the water bottle construction compared to the current construction materials. Tim was very positive to construct the community centre as a pilot project to test the bottle wall technique; both regarding strength and stability and affordability.

“Let´s do it and let´s find out if it is much cheaper or not!”

He also gave us a more thorough insight into the organisation of the Federation of the Urban Poor and Muungano Housing Cooperative and how the Community Centre in Chamazi could be managed well. Seeing that CCI are positive to the project is crucial since they will be supporting it further after we have finalized the construction and the trainings.

Meeting with Schola Sticka from Eco Design Consultants, Dar es Salaam

Finally I also had the great opportunity to present our ideas to the architect who has planned the current master plan that the new Chamazi community is following. She was also very positive to the project and provided us with a better understanding of the process of receiving building permit for building a Community Centre with water bottles in Chamazi.

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All these meetings gave us a real boost for continuing to look for ways of funding this project and realize the ideas! Soon Lea will be travelling to Dar es Salaam and will continue the work locally. Meanwhile the rest of us will work on detailing the plans, do fundraising and continue the project from Finland. Keep following our blog to stay updated! 🙂

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2 meetings with the Chamazi community members

During two days Amanda had the opportunity to go to Chamazi and meet the people there and talk about our project. During the first visit Muungano Housing Cooperative, who owns the land in Chamazi, had an official meeting with around 60-80 participants. I was presented to all the members and found that they had already been discussing the project we are working on – to build a Community Centre in Chamazi. The meeting was held in a big rented tent that had been placed in Chamazi. This showed a clear need for a community centre for hosting these kind of events in Chamazi. I presented all the parts of our project: the partial master plan, the Community Centre built with the bottle wall technique and the new housing typology focusing on affordability. Since the continuation and focus of our project mainly lays around the construction of the Community Centre we focused the discusson on that. We had a look at the model we have built and talked about the spaces and the activities that they are designed for. We also discussed strategies for receiving building permits and how to conduct the trainings. It was very very nice to meet the people that we met during our last trip again and also to meet other members of Muungano housing Cooperative that has not yet moved to Chamazi but are looking very much forward to it.

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Muungano Housing Cooperative Meeting

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Amanda presenting the project ideas to members of the Muungano Housing Coop

I also had the opportunity to walk around in the community and was very happy to see that one more full house has been constructed were someone will move in very soon. Also the rental houses that are constructed to allow the people waiting to build their house are quickly growing up. These houses are build as a row of 4 houses and are therefore more affordable than the houses constructed by the community members. Hopefully they will learn from this construction and be more open to change in the future constructions.

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Rental houses constructed in a row in Chamazi

The second time I arrived to Chamazi for a more in depth meeting I found a lot of activities going on in the community. There was full production of the roofing tiles, children running around and a training of the new water project committee conducted by Saije Nswebe the project manager from CCI. I participated for a while in the training and got inspiration and ideas about how the trainings around the construction and management of the Community Centre could be conducted by us and CCI together. Afterwards I sat down with 5 members including the chairman of the Muungano Housing Cooperative to discuss the details of the Community Centre. We discussed issues like the implementation strategy and time plan, how to set up a system for bottle collection, how to select the members who will receive construction training, how to form a management committee for the Community Centre and about the location. The members were very happy about our plans and were very motivated to continue the discussion. When me and the people from CCI left from there they were still widely discussing the ideas and looking at the plans. This was for me the best confirmation about their interest in the project. It became their project!

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Meeting about the Community Centre

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Meeting participants on the site for the Community Centre

Back in Dar es Salaam!

The past ten days Amanda has been back in Dar es Salaam to present our plans and ideas to the members of the new Chamazi community, our local partner Centre for Community Initiatives (CCI) and the architect Schola Sticka, from Eco Design Consultants, who is working on the plans for the new Chamazi area.

All the meetings were very fruitful and all the people I met were very happy about our plans. This was very motivating and made us really feel that we want to continue with this project and do our best to make it happen. More insights from the meetings are described in the comming blog posts.

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A scale model of the Community Centre for the Chamazi Community

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Project summary translated to Swahili handed out to the Community members

Ministry of Foreign Affairs Application

In order to prepare the construction of the Chamazi Community Center, we applied to get some funding close to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. We prepared intensely this application during the last weeks to send it before the deadline, the 30th of May. This project support application permits to help some new projects as our. We needed to complete a form with different specific questions permitting us to explain the details of our Chamazi project.

The process is long but the community center realization depends largely if we get the the money we asked.

To prepare this application we evolved a lot in the project process and we planned the two next years to organize all the construction steps.

Now we cross our fingers waiting the answer in a few months.

Meantime we are continuing to improve the project and prepare applications to get some other fundings.

Final presentation

The 12th of May we had our final presentation at the Aalto University. During all the day, each groups of the Sustainable Technologies Studio presented the work they did during the semester. We were in total six groups working on four different countries : South Africa, Mozambique, Lebanon and Tanzania : Urban Scenarios of Dar / Waste Managements / And us, Affordable Housing in Chamazi.

Each groups had 50 minutes time for the presentation including questions and comments.

Many people were present in the public. For the event, we tried to invite the maximum of the persons who helped us during the entire project. We were glad to see the presences of some of them like Genku Kayo and his wife Nop Suzuki, but also some of the students who did the same project than us the last year, like Qidi Jiang and Zita Floret.

Our time presentation was at the end of the day but the public looked interested about our work and we received some interesting comments and questions. The result was quite positive.

Moreover at the end of the day, Zita Floret presented quickly the project she is doing in continuation from the last year. Her group is building some dry toilets in different places around the Dar es Salaam city. Even if we are already in contact with her, through this concrete example at the end of the projects presentation day, she gave us directly a full of hope and many good advices.

This share day was really interesting for all of us, firstly because we discovered the final work of everybody did during all the semester but also because the comments we received was really useful for us who are continuing the project.

Shortly we will upload the presentation and the final report of our project here on the blog, stay tuned! 🙂

Ukumbi meeting

A few weeks ago, we had a meeting with Ukumbi, a Finnish Non-Governmental Organization. Helena Sandman, our professor, help us to have this contact, because she is part of the core team. To organize this meeting, they invited us at the Ukumbi’s annual meeting in their office. During the second part of the meeting, the future Ukumbi projects were presented. Here, we had the opportunity to present our Community Center project and show for the first time our video. The Ukumbi team looked interested about it and invited us to be part in the Ukumbi team. We are really glad to be linked with this NGO.

We invite you to visit their web-site to know more about their approaches and projects, which are in perfect link with our Chamazi project : http://www.ukumbi.org/