Video: it’s map time

When it rains in Dar, everyone is impacted. A community mapping project is using data to promote flood resilience. Photo: Mark Iliffe cc-by sa 4.0

A community mapping project used data and drones to promote flood resilience in Dar and is now using their skills to map Zanzibar. Photo: Mark Iliffe cc-by sa 4.0

A small team of geeks have used data and drones to map flood-prone parts of Dar, winning the praise of government officials and experts.

The research project, dubbed Dar Ramani Huria (Dar Open Maps) armed community members and university students with GPS units and drones to gather data.

While it’s mandate was flood prevention, the open-source data could be used by anyone.

“Ramani Huria maps are user-friendly — they can be used by people with any level of education. They also show the existing situation; using them is like visiting the area – and we will be using them for all aspects of development,” says Juliana Letara, head of Kinondoni municipal council’s urban planning department.

Furthermore, the community feels a sense of ownership over these maps because they were a part of the whole process, says Letara.

“Until now, this was framed as a research project to prove if community mapping can generate useful data, and it proved that it can. So now we’re asking what we should scale, and who, and how,” says Edward Anderson, a senior disaster risk management and ICT specialist with the World Bank.

With the flood-mapping of Dar complete, Ramani Huria is looking to grow beyond flood resilience — they’re currently working on mapping Zanzibar and may soon be involved in a new project in Mozambique.

Ramani Huria was a project by the Tanzanian Commission of Science and Technology, University of Dar es Salaam, Ardhi University, City Council of Dar es Salaam, Buni Innovation Hub and is supported by the World Bank, GFDRR, the Red Cross and the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team.

Check out our video from Ramani Huria’s work in 2015:

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About the Author

Daniel Hayduk

Daniel is Dar Post’s news director. When not in the newsroom, he spends his days helping NGOs across the continent find their creative side.