Tanzania Urban Resilience Program (TURP)

Background & Rationale

Over the next 20 years, 95% of global urban growth will occur in developing and emerging countries, dramatically increasing the concentration of people and assets exposed to climate risks. Fortunately, there is growing recognition by the Government of Tanzania (GoT) and development partners that proactive and preventive actions are critical to minimize and better manage future risks.

In view of this, a partnership between the United Kingdom’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and the World Bank has been established to support the GoT in its endeavour to increase resilience to climate and disaster risk. The Tanzania Urban Resilience Programme (TURP) employs coordinated and strategic action to improve Tanzania’s ability to prepare for, respond to, and adapt to a changing climate, as well as to withstand and rapidly recover from shock.

Core challenges

According to FCDO’s Business Case for establishing the TF, three major challenges contribute to increasing vulnerability of Tanzanian cities:

  1. Data and information are lacking:  Due to limited experience and capacity with regard to this realm in local government, little data exists to allow an accurate assessment of the exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity of the population and assets.
  2. The urban and land use planning system in Tanzania is inadequate: Due to constrained institutional capacity and a lack of data, existing urban plans are often outdated, institutional responsibilities are blurred, compliance and enforcement is weak, and progress with new plan-making is slow.
  3. There is a significant and widening infrastructure gap: Tanzanian cities are marked by a lack of appropriate storm water drainage and wastewater treatment, ineffective solid waste systems and flood management infrastructures, and inadequate systems for the effective operation and maintenance of infrastructure assets.


The Programmatic Trust Fund uses a multi-sectoral approach to responding to these needs and challenges.

  • Pillar 1 – Risk Identification: This programme pillar will strengthen the identification and understanding of climate risk and uncertainty in the local context, and enhance the linkages and coordination between risk management actors.
  • Pillar 2 – Risk Reduction: This programme pillar will strengthen cities capacity to plan for and respond to climate risk, focussing on the reduction of the vulnerability of people, households and communities through structural and non-structural measures.
  • Pillar 3 – Disaster Preparedness & Emergency Management: This programme pillar will use scenarios of city risk to identify and prepare vulnerable groups with emergency response plans, design early warning systems, institute requirements for equipment, tools, infrastructure, simulations, and drills, and improve damage assessment capacities.

Programme benefits

The Tanzania Urban Resilience Programme will benefit all Tanzanian cities, on three levels:

  1. All cities - Knowledge, skills, and results: All cities will have a programme of capacity-building and technical assistance including a government and CSO grant programme for innovations and scaling up community-based activities.
  2. Higher risk cities - Practical tools and new investments: Higher risk cities will develop practical tools, technical knowledge, and a pipeline of investment.
  3. Dar es Salaam - Transformative investment: Comprehensive, integrated approach to rehabilitation in the Msimbazi Valley (or other flood-risk areas) and strengthened emergency management.


Community mapping methods have proven invaluable to projects aimed at understanding and identifying risk within Dar es Salaam. CC BY-SA

The first priority of the programme is to strengthen the identification and understanding of climate risk and uncertainty in the local context, and enhance the linkages and coordination between risk management stakeholders. Activities under this pillar increase access to comprehensive information about physical and societal exposure to climate risk which will inform implementation of structural and non-structural mitigation measures.


  1. Exposure and hazard data
  2. Flood risk model
  3. Innovative data digitization and monitoring
  4. Research and benchmarking

Featured projects:

  • Ramani Huria: a community-based mapping project that began in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, training university students and local community members to create highly accurate maps of the most flood-prone areas of the city for development in all socio-economic spheres.
  • Hydrological Data Strengthening for Climate Risks – a collaborative activity with universities, the meteorological agency, and basin authorities to improve documentation, cataloguing, and availability of hydromet data and skills of weather station maintenance. 

Floods in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Coordinated, strategic, and community-driven action is required for sustainable development of Dar es Salaam’s disaster resilience. CC BY-SA  

Guided by the data and management tools of pillar one, the programme further aims to strengthen cities’ capacity to plan for and reduce climate risk using both structural and non-structural measures. Activities supported focus on the reduction of the vulnerability of people, households, and communities through investments aimed at improving the resilience of critical infrastructure - specifically targetting measures for protecting river basins and improving flood management infrastructure.


  1. Diagnostic studies
  2. Environmental and basin plans
  3. Community engagement and planning
  4. Land use plans and incentives
  5. Curriculum for resilience

Featured projects:

  • Resilience Academy: Via a partnership with UDSM, the programme aims to support the development of curriculum in partnership with academia and the private sector and active engagement of university students in the process of risk identification, reduction, and response.
  • Twa Mtaro - Twa Mtaro (Adopt a drain) is a prototype ICT system, to be developed jointly universities, government, and community groups to facilitate transparency on solid waste blockages affecting flood risk and actions for clean-up.



Emergency response has been most successful at the ward level when community driven. CC BY-SA

To address a gap inhibiting the country’s ability to respond to climate-related disaster, the Tanzania Urban Resilience Programme additionally focuses on stakeholders involved with short term disaster events and preparedness activities. Also guided by the data of pillar one,  scenarios of city risk are used to identify and prepare vulnerable groups with emergency response plans, design early warning systems, institute requirements for equipment, tools, infrastructure, simulations, and drills, and improve damage assessment capacities.


  1. Contingency and emergency planning
  2. Community response actions
  3. Capacity, equipment, and training
  4. Early warning and early action systems
  5. Damage assessment and rehabilitation plan

Featured project:

  • Zuia Mafuriko: In collaboration with Ramani Huria, this project has trained and established emergency flood response teams in 10 of the most flood-prone wards in the city of Dar es Salaam who have implemented emergency response plans to be integrated into existing responder networks.
  • DarMAERT Radios:  As an initiative to improve emergency response, this programme is working on an ex-ante plan for emergency declaration, actions, and definitions of roles and responsibilities in the event of a disaster, focussing on equipping DarMAERT with emergency radio equipment and training to expand the radio coverage for emergency communication.

Analytical and Advisory Assistance (AAA) projects

Tanzania Urbanization Review, through extensive analysis of the urban sector, will provide the evidence base for urban policy and programming to better capture the benefits of urbanization;

Building Climate Resilience in Tanzania is piloting the use of emergent ICT solutions to address disaster risk reduction challenges posed by changing hydrological hazards in Tanzania’s water sector in urban areas. The initiative has laid an important foundation on which lessons learned and stakeholder engagement has been built for local level actors in the area of climate change.

The Spatial Development of African Cities Project includes a historically informed case study of the evolution of Dar es Salaam’s spatial structure and current functioning; and

Promoting Green Development in Africa aims to enhance the relationship between urbanization, environmental assets and ecosystem services, and incorporates an Urban Environmental Profile of Dar es Salaam, and case study of the city’s Msimbazi River catchment, which will explore the potential costs and benefits of carrying out catchment-to-coast restoration measures to ameliorate flood risk in the catchment.

Operations Officer


Connect, Contribute, and Participate

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Partners and stakeholders of the Tanzania Urban Resilience Programme are invited to participate to connect with each other, contribute knowledge, and participate in programme-related events.