Community Spirit and Toilets


In Kibera and Mathare a community spirit exists however it still feels like every man/woman for themselves. When speaking to some residents they give the impression that this arrangement is temporary. In Tandale the spirit and feeling is very different. The sense of community is strong, as is the level of community engagement in projects apart from ours.

You can see the community cohesion within the structure of the family unit and within residential buildings. On walking through the sub-wards of Pakatcha and Mharitan seemingly most of the houses are arranged in a quad, with a private inner courtyard for toilets and washing facilities.

This has impacted our ability to map toilets (useful for understanding the sanitation issues and requirements) due to problems of access. In this engaging the community through other means, like Ushahidi becomes important.

Next week we will be holding mini-forums with community based organisations and members of the community to pinpoint issues like access to sanitation. Because of how the community is orientated towards working together, we hope we can gather data that would be representative of the community as a whole.  We plan to have a discussion with the community, with students using tools like JOSM and Ushahidi to submit issues while the discussions are ongoing.

With this we start to use the map that we have created to further identity community issues and problems. We are speaking to the city council of Dar Es Salaam, at the moment they like this idea of using this information system to identity problems. By introducing it to the community we hope they will like it too.

Written and submitted in the World Bank Offices, Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania (-6.81298, 39.29194)

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Author: Mark Iliffe

Traveller, Programmer, Geospatialist and Motorcyclist

2 thoughts on “Community Spirit and Toilets”

  1. The map is looking excellent. I have been following your posts on this project the whole time is has been going and it is neat to see how quickly it is progressing.

    One thought, if you are using JOSM you may want to introduce them to the building tool, which is very handy for tracing in lots of buildings quickly.

    -Buck

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