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Video May 9, 2019

The Msimbazi River and its Role on Urban Floods

The Msimbazi River Valley in Dar es Salaam is important for the city’s infrastructure, mobility, commerce, and flood control. Two of Dar es Salaam’s main traffic arteries cross the main flood plain near the river’s discharge to the sea. The Msimbazi river basin has been degraded over the years, with encroachment in flood-prone areas, deforestation and soil erosion, decreasing the ability of the basin to naturally retain water. In addition, solid waste and industrial effluents find their way into the river, clogging the city’s drainage systems and polluting the water. More intense rainfalls, attributed to climate change, are compounding the situation. As a result, floods have become more frequent and severe in Dar es Salaam. Efforts to prepare a basin investment program, and a detailed plan for the lower basin, are ongoing to help catalyze investment from government, private sector, and development partners to restore the highly-vulnerable flood plain, and turn it into a city asset.