Community Data for Improved Disaster Management and Urban Planning — Mwanza, Tanzania

Photo: Primoz Kovacic, Spatial Collective
  • More than 300,000 buildings using satellite imagery
  • More than 15,000 points on flood-prone areas using mobile phones
  • More than 800 points on rockfall-prone areas using mobile phones
  • More than 80,000 points on urban exposure using mobile phones, and
  • At the moment of this writing 1700 drain segments with 145.013km of drainage lines and 4300 drainage related points of interest have been mapped using a combination of mobile phones and DIY RTK units.
A screenshot of a map showing rockfall prone areas
  • Capacity building to 79 university students — final year students will use the same software in their research and dissertations as it has proved to be a more cost-effective way of gathering data
  • Requests from the university lecturers to teach more about open-source tools used in data collection
  • Raising awareness to community members and local leaders on the importance of data use in making decisions
Field data collection, Photo: Primoz Kovacic, Spatial Collective
  • Nature of the terrain and accessibility; Mwanza is characterized by highly dissected steep slopes and rocky hills making it more difficult for mappers to collect data especially in the slums
  • Misinterpretation of the project; communities believed that the mapping will lead to the demolition of their houses and possible relocation. The mappers had to carefully and mindfully explain the goals of the project and that the project is not in any way connected to relocation
  • Political issues; the general election posed some challenges to obtaining permissions on time

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Using Open Data, Open Source, and maps to solve different socio-economic challenges.

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