United Republic of Tanzania.
Labour Organization (ILO). Associated agencies:UN Centre for
Human Settlements (Habitat), UN Volunteers (UNV). Funding was
provided by UNDP, Ford Foundation, European Union and community
contributions in cash and kind.
Hanna Nassif is a low-income settlement in
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, with about 20,000 inhabitants. Before
the project started, the settlement had no clearly defined roads
or storm water drainage channels. During the rainy season the
area experienced a lot of flooding. Pools of water mixed with
overspill from pit latrines, and solid waste was littered all
over the settlement. Standing contaminated water would remain in
the settlement for long periods. Malaria was the most common
disease, and most people developed foot fungus due to walking in
During a time when 72 houses had lost their
roofs in Hanna Nassif after heavy rains in May 1991, the ILO
visited that area to explore the possibility of undertaking a
pilot project on labour intensive and community based upgrading
of an urban area in order to generate employment and improve
living conditions. The project started in March 1994 and ended
in August 1996.
About 600 metres of functioning and maintainable storm
water drains, 1 km of road with 1.5 km of side drains and
600 metres of footpaths were constructed at a technically
A sustainable community-based maintenance system for
drains and roads was set up and is still operative.
Recurrent community funding is available for maintenance
through a road toll system.
Employment of 24,430 work-days were created, being 4,430
above the target figure. Of the total work-days created, 65%
comprised man-days, and 35% women-days.
Established linkages between the City Council and CDC: the
CDC now knows how to ask the DCC for assistance.
Training of selected people from the CDC, the Hanna Nassif
community and the DCC was successfully carried out.
The strategy of the Hanna Nassif project has been
replicated in two other unplanned settlements in Dar es
Salaam under the Community Infrastructure Project.
Additionally, many organisations have shown their interest
in further replicating the approach.
An enabling strategy contributes to creating a
constructive partnership between local governments and
communities in addressing urban unemployment and poverty.
Under this strategy, local communities change their role
from being "beneficiaries" to being
"actors" in the development process, thus creating
a sense of ownership, while local governments change from
regulators and implementers to facilitators. A
community-based organisation, if closely linked with and
technically supported by local governments, can manage and
supervise locally based small labour-intensive construction
and maintenance activities.
Continuous animation of communities is necessary to obtain
successful community participation. Though it is time
consuming, it ensures sustainability of a project. Community
contributions for improving and maintaining their priority
infrastructure should be agreed with the CBOs from the
outset of a project, in order to establish a sense of
ownership and ensure sustainability.
The key element in a labour-intensive infrastructure
investment policy concerns the encouragement of local
community participation in the execution of relatively
small-scale local infrastructure projects. This can best be
done through community construction contracts, the concept
of which opens up a wide spectrum of local works to local
cooperative efforts, with benefits accruing directly to the
Labour-based technology is cost-effective and of a
technically acceptable level, particularly in constructing
and maintaining public infrastructure in low-income
Inter-agency and multi-donor sponsored projects provide
opportunities for integrated approaches to tackle problems
such as poverty by full use of each organization’s
comparative advantages, knowledge and experience. It also
enhances the possibility of replication and impact. However,
inter-agency cooperation carries a risk of competition and
therefore care should be taken to delimit the technical
inputs of each cooperating agency.
The external Evaluation Team summarised the lessons
learned as: "The Hanna Nassif urban upgrading project
is a brave new initiative on the part of the City
Administration, Donors and the Community. It is a pilot
program, the experience of which is to be used for expanding
the programme to other unplanned settlements in the City.
The concept empowers communities to create their own
infrastructure services. One of the most important lessons
learnt was that the development of a sense of community
ownership in a new urban ad-hoc settlement is a complex
social and economic problem, which requires special skill
and adequate time to deal with. The project succeeded well
to establish a functioning Community Development Association
for identifying and constructing their own priority
Mr. Liu Jinchang,
ILO Development Policies Department
4, Route des Morillons, CH-1211,
Geneva 22, Switzerland
Ms. Wilma van Esch,
Nairobi Junction of Galana and Lenana Roads,
P.O. Box 60598 Nairobi, Kenya
Tel: 254-2-57055 / 572580