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Microsoft word - exsocproposal2011.doc
University of Glasgow
School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
Tanzania 2011 Expedition Proposal
Name of expedition:
Environmental challenges facing rapid urbanisation in African cities. Location of expedition:
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Timing of expedition:
14 August – 7 September 2011 (provisional). Aims of the expedition:
The expedition has two key aims:
1. To examine the nature of the environmental challenges in African cities
brought about by rapid rates of urbanisation, and to suggest appropriate ways to mitigate against such challenges.
2. To promote joint, team-driven research involving UK and Tanzanian
undergraduate students working together in partnership on collaborative research projects, consistent with the University of Glasgow’s Internationalisation Strategy.
1. To set up in collaboration with Tanzanian partner undergraduate students a
related series of joint research packages to determine the nature of the environmental challenges and to suggest possible mitigating solutions.
2. To collect appropriate field data to answer the jointly established research
3. To present the research findings at an end-of-project seminar/workshop in Dar
4. To produce a written report of the findings of the collaborative work
Organisation of the expedition:
The group of 15 students from Glasgow will travel together to Dar es Salaam in
August to meet up with their Tanzanian partners. The projects will be carried out in
and around Dar es Salaam over a period of four weeks. Initially, students will spend
two orientation days visiting different areas in and around Dar es Salaam and receive
introductory lectures on the area and on research methods at the University of Dar es
Salaam. Local arrangements supporting the fieldwork are currently being made by
the Department of Geography at the University of Dar es Salaam, including local
There have been research and teaching links between Geography at Glasgow and Dar
es Salaam since the 1980s (including an ODA/DFID academic link between 1984 and
1998). During that period, a total of six academic staff, three postgraduates, two technical staff and 26 undergraduates from Glasgow have spent time working in the Department in Dar es Salaam, and a strong record of active co-operation and collaboration has been established. A recent Scottish Executive-supported grant, Environmental Management and Knowledge Transfer Programme, has reinforced links between the Departments. The expedition will, therefore, be able to fit into this clear organisational framework. A key feature of this proposal is its collaborative nature. This builds on the success of visits undertaken in September 2002 and 2004 where groups of eight and 13 students respectively from the University of Glasgow visited Aswan to undertake collaborative field projects, and, more directly, on the expeditions to Dar es Salaam by 16 undergraduate students in 2008, 11 in 2009 and 17 in 2010. Each of these visits was highly successful, producing quality research projects. In addition, the students gained a great deal culturally as they worked with Egyptian and Tanzanian students throughout the period, got to know them as friends, and learnt about their way of life. It will be the intention for such collaborative research, by UK and Tanzanian undergraduates working together, to form the core activity of the expedition. UK and Tanzanian students will live side-by-side in shared accommodation at the University of Dar es Salaam and so get to know one another well. Transport for the field project will primarily be via various kinds of public transport, and where this is not available, it will be provided by the University of Dar es Salaam. The University of Dar es Salaam will also provide office, computing, laboratory and other analytical facilities, as appropriate.
The city of Dar es Salaam is one of Africa’s most rapidly expanding cities, with a
population growth rate of about 5-6% per annum. In 1967, the population of Dar es
Salaam was 276,000, by 1978 this had grown to 870,000, and by the turn of the
century, the population had reached over 2.5 million people. In 2010, the population
is estimated to be about 3.5 million. This rapid and sustained growth has put
considerable pressure on the resources and infrastructure of the city. However, for
most of this time, the focus for the government, the city council and aid donors has
been on creating employment opportunities and providing better housing. The
environmental pressures have largely been overlooked as a lesser priority. However,
this is no longer the case, as the authorities are now taking a much greater interest in
how the environmental challenges of the city of Dar es Salaam can be tackled. There
are severe problems with water supplies, both quantity and quality; indeed, it is
estimated that only about 20% of the population have access to piped water. Solid
waste management has been a huge challenge, and although there are recycling
schemes being introduced, this has made little difference so far. Flood events are
having much more serious impacts, not least because some of the poorer groups have
little option but to live in the more flood-prone areas. Land degradation in the peri-
urban zone of the city is rapidly reducing land productivity and so putting pressure on
food supplies. The building boom in the city has led to sand and gravel mining in
nearby river valleys which has had a huge impact on the hydrological regimes of the
rivers in the region. Of particular concern in the field area is the pressure being put on
land resources and the loss of biodiversity because of the expansion of the urban area
of Dar es Salaam into the surrounding rural areas. Better care of the natural
environment is a priority area for the Government of Tanzania, and conservation is
central in many national development proposals. We will therefore be contributing to
research on a highly relevant set of development issues.
Based on the successful experience of the previous collaborative research
programmes, there will be a suite of sub-projects which will all feed into the overall
research questions of how to understand and mitigate against the environmental
challenges exacerbated by rapid urbanisation. As there will be 30 students involved
(15 from the University of Dar es Salaam and 15 from the University of Glasgow),
experience has taught us that if there is a number of sub-projects, then students have
to take ownership for their own individual component. With this number of students,
there may be an opportunity to ‘hide’ unless there are clearly marked and agreed areas
of research responsibility, and this structure has been successful on all previous
Appropriate supervision will be given by Dar es Salaam and Glasgow staff to ensure
that the sub-projects remain focused, as has happened in previous visits. The
development of the sub-projects is very much an iterative and collaborative process
between the Glasgow and Dar es Salaam partners. Experience from previous
expeditions shows that the research design continues to firm up in the months leading
up to the project and is consolidated once the students all meet up face to face. As we
are committed to the principle of partnership between Glasgow and Dar es Salaam,
we see the development and firming up of the sub-projects as a continuous dialogue
between South and North students. This also provides a sense of ownership for both
sets of students together, something that we greatly value.
The proposed sub-projects are:
• Land degradation and erosion
. This is a rapidly increasing problem in Dar
es Salaam, and especially in the peri-urban zone of the city. Soil erosion rates are increasing and this is having a significant impact on agricultural output, and especially of perishable foods which have an important role to play in the feeding of the city. An equally pressing challenge is that of sand mining from dry river beds which has impacted on sediment budgets being delivered to the coast, hence increasing the rates of coastal erosion and putting pressure on livelihoods on the coast itself. This work will use a combination of physical measurements and interviews to determine the extent of erosion and land degradation within these communities, mainly in the northern areas of the city.
• Pollution and sustainable regeneration
. Although considerable progress has
been made in recent years to tackle solid waste management in Dar es Salaam, there is still a vast amount of dumping and pollution being created, especially in some of the river valleys which transect the city landscape in a west-east direction. This sub-project will measure and map the extent of this pollution and will be involved with communities in promoting sustainable ways of managing such waste in a sustainable manner. This will involve interview work, questionnaires along with a phenomenological approach to data collection.
• Water provision
. Only about 20% of Dar es Salaam’s population currently
has access to clean piped water, and the rest depend on a variety of supply
methods. This sub-project will investigate the main ways in which the urban population accesses clean water, with particular emphasis on water vendors, both in the formal and informal sectors. Is there a difference between different areas of the city? How clean is the water anyway? This will be undertaken using a combination of methods including physical measurements, mapping and interviews.
• Diseases related to the environment
. Some key diseases are related to the
environment and these include intestinal disorders and malaria. This sub-project is not a clinical approach, but rather a management and mitigation approach. What preventative measures do households take? Does the wealth of the household make a substantive difference in accessing such measures? What is the impact of disease on household production? What is the extent of the economic consequences of the disease burden? This will involve questionnaire work and interviews of different groups of the urban population.
• Flood hazards
. There is little doubt that flood events have had a bigger
impact over the last few years, even though their frequency may not have increased. This is because of the larger number of people who are affected, and the increased number who have little option but to settle in the most vulnerable environments in the city such as on the floors of the river valleys themselves. This sub-project will investigate some of the physical causes of increased flood impacts and how communities try to deal with and manage them. There will also be involvement with the key NGOs to ascertain how they conduct their business in this area.
• Gender and the environment
. Research elsewhere in Africa points to some
key gender differences in how women and men perceive, use and manage their surrounding environments and the natural resources contained within them. This sub-project will investigate whether this is the case in Dar es Salaam, and, if so, what those differences are. This will necessitate working closely with members of communities mainly using participant methodologies.
(All are third year students in the School of Geographical and Earth Sciences)
Kim Scott Jessica Stewart Jessica Street Stuart Tilston At this stage, the group is in the process of identifying organisational responsibilities. The partner students from the University of Dar es Salaam have yet to be selected, but this will happen early in January 2011. Students have received appropriate research training throughout their Junior Honours year in Glasgow as part of the Geographical Techniques Class, and the new course, Advanced Research Methods, which is specifically designed to support student fieldwork.
Although the student group members maintain the responsibility for driving the
expedition, Professor John Briggs and Dr Joanne Sharp, both of the Department of
Geographical and Earth Sciences, will be with the students whilst in Dar es Salaam to
offer advice, provide support when needed, and to provide overall supervisory
experience. Between them, they have over 30 years’ experience of living and
working in various Third World environments, including Tanzania, Egypt, Sudan,
Jordan, South Africa, Malawi and Rwanda. They have previously led undergraduate
student expeditions to Egypt and Tanzania, as well as having conducted their own
research programmes and/or led postgraduate and postdoctoral research teams in the
field in the seven countries cited above. The expedition will be supported from the
Tanzanian side mainly by Dr Opportuna Kweka and Mr Alex Ngowi from the
Department of Geography at the University of Dar es Salaam, both of whom are
experienced fieldworkers. Both the Tanzanian staff counterparts have spent extended
periods of time at the University of Glasgow and are therefore well-acquainted with
Glasgow students generally.
Sun 14 Aug
Depart Dar es Salaam (students travel in Tanzania or return to Glasgow)
NB: Dar es Salaam students will have been identified by January 2011. This means that the Glasgow and Tanzanian students will have the opportunity to discuss their projects via email and SMS before the official beginning of the research programme.
Budget (based on the 2010 expedition figures)
18 students @ £120 each
: 18 students @ £60 each
: 18 visas for entry to Tanzania @ £45 each
: Glasgow-Dar es Salaam-Glasgow, 18 students @ £850
25 nights @ £3 per night, 18 Glasgow students 1,350
25 nights @ £3 per night, 18 D’Salaam students 1,350
25 days @ £10 per day, 18 Glasgow students
25 days @ £10 per day, 18 D’Salaam students
Printing of final report
(10% of total)
Cost per student (Glasgow and Dar es Salaam)
Projected personal contribution per Glasgow student £1000
• One of the expedition leaders (Sharp) has First Aid Training. She will be
responsible for bringing a first aid kit on the expedition.
• Students will never work alone – they will always be in groups of at least two.
• Adherence to local customs will be ensured by working with local students.
• Permission to work will be arranged by the University of Dar es Salaam.
• Contact details will be lodged with the Department of Geographical and Earth
Sciences of the University of Glasgow before leaving for Tanzania.
• Students will be made aware of the potential hazards associated with the visit (see
below) and they will be required to sign a declaration before leaving for Tanzania to the effect that they understand both the likely hazards and the appropriate safety procedures.
Use prophylactic drugs (Lariam or Malorone dependent on individual circumstances); sleep under mosquito net; use insect repellent after sunset; keep well-covered after sunset.
Eat only freshly cooked foods; do not eat food bought from roadside vendors; drink only bottled water; avoid unpeeled fruit; wash hands as regularly as possible.
Use plenty of sunscreen on a regular basis throughout the day; wear a hat in the sun (essential); keep well covered.
Always carry a torch at night (and use it); avoid long grass.
Drink plenty of non-alcoholic fluids; wear a hat in the sun (essential).
Remain in groups of a minimum of two at all times; do not flaunt wealth (remember that you are fabulously wealthy by the standards of many in Tanzania); do not leave belongings unguarded; be streetwise.
2010 Expedition Report
The final draft of the 2010 Expedition Report has been submitted to Professor Briggs
and Dr Sharp. It is currently in the process of being printed and as copy should be
with the ExSoc within the next couple of weeks.
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