THE government yesterday launched a national urbanisation roadmap, describing it as a “liberation” to the country’s decade unplanned settlements.
Speaking during the launch of guidelines, Minister of State in the President’s Office (Regional Administration and Local Government) Suleiman Jafo said the country had for long suffered serious socioeconomic losses.
“Planning for urbanisation is vital to the country as we want to transform our nation into a middle-income economy,” he said, stressing “we haven’t conducted enough study over the damage caused by poor settlements.”
Official figures show the urban population has been recording a growth rate of 5.2 per cent annually for the last decade and is estimated that over half of the population will live in urban areas by the middle of the century.
Addressing a meeting, the minister said such projections were a call for state and nonstate actors to act accordingly.
He commended the Dodoma authorities for improving the city’s urban settlements, noting Dar es Salaam’s state was “chaos” for individuals and the nation at large.
Mr Jafo explained that the government had decided to re-plan some parts of Dar es Salaam City, but many more places in the country’s commercial cities needed to be re-planned.
He said the roadmap was a new horizon that would provide a solution, improve access to social services in communities as well as promote urban tourism.
The government has embarked on a massive infrastructural development plan, including the construction of Standard Gauge Railway, the Rufiji Hydroelectric Power Project and improving highways, the plan that will increase rural-urban migration.
Economic and Social Research Foundation (ESRF) Executive Director, Dr Tausi Kida, said Dar es Salaam was projected to become a mega city that would have over 10 million people by 2030.
She said the roadmap was a master piece of the Tanzania Urbanisation Laboratory (TUlab), which had also conducted a number of studies, including the relationship between local and central governments. The roadmap, according to the director incorporates ideas from best innovators drawn from over 100 applicants.
Deputy Minister for Lands, Housing and Human Settlements Development Angela Mabula noted that the ministry had equally been working hard to improve human settlements by planning, surveying and mapping each piece of land.
Unfortunately, she said many parts of the country remained un-surveyed. She noted that the government was, however, engaging the private sector to speed up surveying and mapping various parts of the country.
“Land surveying and planning is still limited.
Our involving of the private sector helps increase the value of land as property, but also reduces land disputes that have been slowing social, political and economic development.”