University of Glasgow School of Geographical and Earth Sciences Tanzania 2011 Expedition Proposal Name of expedition: Environmental challenges facing rapid urbanisation in African cities. Location of expedition: Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Timing of expedition: 14 August – 7 September 2011 (provisional). Aims of the expedition: The expedition has two key aims:
1. To examine the nature of the environmental challenges in African cities
brought about by rapid rates of urbanisation, and to suggest appropriate ways to mitigate against such challenges.
2. To promote joint, team-driven research involving UK and Tanzanian
undergraduate students working together in partnership on collaborative research projects, consistent with the University of Glasgow’s Internationalisation Strategy.
1. To set up in collaboration with Tanzanian partner undergraduate students a
related series of joint research packages to determine the nature of the environmental challenges and to suggest possible mitigating solutions.
2. To collect appropriate field data to answer the jointly established research
3. To present the research findings at an end-of-project seminar/workshop in Dar
4. To produce a written report of the findings of the collaborative work
Organisation of the expedition: The group of 15 students from Glasgow will travel together to Dar es Salaam in August to meet up with their Tanzanian partners. The projects will be carried out in and around Dar es Salaam over a period of four weeks. Initially, students will spend two orientation days visiting different areas in and around Dar es Salaam and receive introductory lectures on the area and on research methods at the University of Dar es Salaam. Local arrangements supporting the fieldwork are currently being made by the Department of Geography at the University of Dar es Salaam, including local accommodation. There have been research and teaching links between Geography at Glasgow and Dar es Salaam since the 1980s (including an ODA/DFID academic link between 1984 and
1998). During that period, a total of six academic staff, three postgraduates, two technical staff and 26 undergraduates from Glasgow have spent time working in the Department in Dar es Salaam, and a strong record of active co-operation and collaboration has been established. A recent Scottish Executive-supported grant, Environmental Management and Knowledge Transfer Programme, has reinforced links between the Departments. The expedition will, therefore, be able to fit into this clear organisational framework. A key feature of this proposal is its collaborative nature. This builds on the success of visits undertaken in September 2002 and 2004 where groups of eight and 13 students respectively from the University of Glasgow visited Aswan to undertake collaborative field projects, and, more directly, on the expeditions to Dar es Salaam by 16 undergraduate students in 2008, 11 in 2009 and 17 in 2010. Each of these visits was highly successful, producing quality research projects. In addition, the students gained a great deal culturally as they worked with Egyptian and Tanzanian students throughout the period, got to know them as friends, and learnt about their way of life. It will be the intention for such collaborative research, by UK and Tanzanian undergraduates working together, to form the core activity of the expedition. UK and Tanzanian students will live side-by-side in shared accommodation at the University of Dar es Salaam and so get to know one another well. Transport for the field project will primarily be via various kinds of public transport, and where this is not available, it will be provided by the University of Dar es Salaam. The University of Dar es Salaam will also provide office, computing, laboratory and other analytical facilities, as appropriate.
Research programme: The city of Dar es Salaam is one of Africa’s most rapidly expanding cities, with a population growth rate of about 5-6% per annum. In 1967, the population of Dar es Salaam was 276,000, by 1978 this had grown to 870,000, and by the turn of the century, the population had reached over 2.5 million people. In 2010, the population is estimated to be about 3.5 million. This rapid and sustained growth has put considerable pressure on the resources and infrastructure of the city. However, for most of this time, the focus for the government, the city council and aid donors has been on creating employment opportunities and providing better housing. The environmental pressures have largely been overlooked as a lesser priority. However, this is no longer the case, as the authorities are now taking a much greater interest in how the environmental challenges of the city of Dar es Salaam can be tackled. There are severe problems with water supplies, both quantity and quality; indeed, it is estimated that only about 20% of the population have access to piped water. Solid waste management has been a huge challenge, and although there are recycling schemes being introduced, this has made little difference so far. Flood events are having much more serious impacts, not least because some of the poorer groups have little option but to live in the more flood-prone areas. Land degradation in the peri- urban zone of the city is rapidly reducing land productivity and so putting pressure on food supplies. The building boom in the city has led to sand and gravel mining in nearby river valleys which has had a huge impact on the hydrological regimes of the rivers in the region. Of particular concern in the field area is the pressure being put on land resources and the loss of biodiversity because of the expansion of the urban area of Dar es Salaam into the surrounding rural areas. Better care of the natural
environment is a priority area for the Government of Tanzania, and conservation is central in many national development proposals. We will therefore be contributing to research on a highly relevant set of development issues. Based on the successful experience of the previous collaborative research programmes, there will be a suite of sub-projects which will all feed into the overall research questions of how to understand and mitigate against the environmental challenges exacerbated by rapid urbanisation. As there will be 30 students involved (15 from the University of Dar es Salaam and 15 from the University of Glasgow), experience has taught us that if there is a number of sub-projects, then students have to take ownership for their own individual component. With this number of students, there may be an opportunity to ‘hide’ unless there are clearly marked and agreed areas of research responsibility, and this structure has been successful on all previous expeditions. Appropriate supervision will be given by Dar es Salaam and Glasgow staff to ensure that the sub-projects remain focused, as has happened in previous visits. The development of the sub-projects is very much an iterative and collaborative process between the Glasgow and Dar es Salaam partners. Experience from previous expeditions shows that the research design continues to firm up in the months leading up to the project and is consolidated once the students all meet up face to face. As we are committed to the principle of partnership between Glasgow and Dar es Salaam, we see the development and firming up of the sub-projects as a continuous dialogue between South and North students. This also provides a sense of ownership for both sets of students together, something that we greatly value. The proposed sub-projects are:
• Land degradation and erosion. This is a rapidly increasing problem in Dar
es Salaam, and especially in the peri-urban zone of the city. Soil erosion rates are increasing and this is having a significant impact on agricultural output, and especially of perishable foods which have an important role to play in the feeding of the city. An equally pressing challenge is that of sand mining from dry river beds which has impacted on sediment budgets being delivered to the coast, hence increasing the rates of coastal erosion and putting pressure on livelihoods on the coast itself. This work will use a combination of physical measurements and interviews to determine the extent of erosion and land degradation within these communities, mainly in the northern areas of the city.
• Pollution and sustainable regeneration. Although considerable progress has
been made in recent years to tackle solid waste management in Dar es Salaam, there is still a vast amount of dumping and pollution being created, especially in some of the river valleys which transect the city landscape in a west-east direction. This sub-project will measure and map the extent of this pollution and will be involved with communities in promoting sustainable ways of managing such waste in a sustainable manner. This will involve interview work, questionnaires along with a phenomenological approach to data collection.
• Water provision. Only about 20% of Dar es Salaam’s population currently
has access to clean piped water, and the rest depend on a variety of supply
methods. This sub-project will investigate the main ways in which the urban population accesses clean water, with particular emphasis on water vendors, both in the formal and informal sectors. Is there a difference between different areas of the city? How clean is the water anyway? This will be undertaken using a combination of methods including physical measurements, mapping and interviews.
• Diseases related to the environment. Some key diseases are related to the
environment and these include intestinal disorders and malaria. This sub-project is not a clinical approach, but rather a management and mitigation approach. What preventative measures do households take? Does the wealth of the household make a substantive difference in accessing such measures? What is the impact of disease on household production? What is the extent of the economic consequences of the disease burden? This will involve questionnaire work and interviews of different groups of the urban population.
• Flood hazards. There is little doubt that flood events have had a bigger
impact over the last few years, even though their frequency may not have increased. This is because of the larger number of people who are affected, and the increased number who have little option but to settle in the most vulnerable environments in the city such as on the floors of the river valleys themselves. This sub-project will investigate some of the physical causes of increased flood impacts and how communities try to deal with and manage them. There will also be involvement with the key NGOs to ascertain how they conduct their business in this area.
• Gender and the environment. Research elsewhere in Africa points to some
key gender differences in how women and men perceive, use and manage their surrounding environments and the natural resources contained within them. This sub-project will investigate whether this is the case in Dar es Salaam, and, if so, what those differences are. This will necessitate working closely with members of communities mainly using participant methodologies.
Group members (All are third year students in the School of Geographical and Earth Sciences) Alex Bishop Malcolm Bryson Claire Burke Emma Hargreaves Lucy Hawthorn Anthony Lynam Peter McCready Kathleen McRae Mirren McSorley Julia Maltby Fraser Patterson Ida Rasmussen Kieran Ronnie Sam Rooke
Kim Scott Jessica Stewart Jessica Street Stuart Tilston At this stage, the group is in the process of identifying organisational responsibilities. The partner students from the University of Dar es Salaam have yet to be selected, but this will happen early in January 2011. Students have received appropriate research training throughout their Junior Honours year in Glasgow as part of the Geographical Techniques Class, and the new course, Advanced Research Methods, which is specifically designed to support student fieldwork.
Expedition support Although the student group members maintain the responsibility for driving the expedition, Professor John Briggs and Dr Joanne Sharp, both of the Department of Geographical and Earth Sciences, will be with the students whilst in Dar es Salaam to offer advice, provide support when needed, and to provide overall supervisory experience. Between them, they have over 30 years’ experience of living and working in various Third World environments, including Tanzania, Egypt, Sudan, Jordan, South Africa, Malawi and Rwanda. They have previously led undergraduate student expeditions to Egypt and Tanzania, as well as having conducted their own research programmes and/or led postgraduate and postdoctoral research teams in the field in the seven countries cited above. The expedition will be supported from the Tanzanian side mainly by Dr Opportuna Kweka and Mr Alex Ngowi from the Department of Geography at the University of Dar es Salaam, both of whom are experienced fieldworkers. Both the Tanzanian staff counterparts have spent extended periods of time at the University of Glasgow and are therefore well-acquainted with Glasgow students generally. Timetable (provisional): Sun 14 Aug
Depart Dar es Salaam (students travel in Tanzania or return to Glasgow)
NB: Dar es Salaam students will have been identified by January 2011. This means that the Glasgow and Tanzanian students will have the opportunity to discuss their projects via email and SMS before the official beginning of the research programme.
Budget (based on the 2010 expedition figures)
Vaccinations/anti-malarials: 18 students @ £120 each Insurance: 18 students @ £60 each Visas: 18 visas for entry to Tanzania @ £45 each Flights: Glasgow-Dar es Salaam-Glasgow, 18 students @ £850
Accommodation: 25 nights @ £3 per night, 18 Glasgow students 1,350
25 nights @ £3 per night, 18 D’Salaam students 1,350
25 days @ £10 per day, 18 Glasgow students
25 days @ £10 per day, 18 D’Salaam students
Local transport Printing of final report Interim total Contingencies (10% of total)
Cost per student (Glasgow and Dar es Salaam)
Projected personal contribution per Glasgow student £1000
• One of the expedition leaders (Sharp) has First Aid Training. She will be
responsible for bringing a first aid kit on the expedition.
• Students will never work alone – they will always be in groups of at least two.
• Adherence to local customs will be ensured by working with local students.
• Permission to work will be arranged by the University of Dar es Salaam.
• Contact details will be lodged with the Department of Geographical and Earth
Sciences of the University of Glasgow before leaving for Tanzania.
• Students will be made aware of the potential hazards associated with the visit (see
below) and they will be required to sign a declaration before leaving for Tanzania to the effect that they understand both the likely hazards and the appropriate safety procedures.
Potential hazards Safety procedures
Use prophylactic drugs (Lariam or Malorone dependent on individual circumstances); sleep under mosquito net; use insect repellent after sunset; keep well-covered after sunset.
Eat only freshly cooked foods; do not eat food bought from roadside vendors; drink only bottled water; avoid unpeeled fruit; wash hands as regularly as possible.
Use plenty of sunscreen on a regular basis throughout the day; wear a hat in the sun (essential); keep well covered.
Always carry a torch at night (and use it); avoid long grass.
Drink plenty of non-alcoholic fluids; wear a hat in the sun (essential).
Remain in groups of a minimum of two at all times; do not flaunt wealth (remember that you are fabulously wealthy by the standards of many in Tanzania); do not leave belongings unguarded; be streetwise.
2010 Expedition Report The final draft of the 2010 Expedition Report has been submitted to Professor Briggs and Dr Sharp. It is currently in the process of being printed and as copy should be with the ExSoc within the next couple of weeks.
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