Dar’s Manhattan brand of skyscraper investors unknown to local leaders

09Feb 2018
Francis Kajubi
The Guardian
Dar’s Manhattan brand of skyscraper investors unknown to local leaders

FEARS that developers around Muhimbili National Hospital neighbourhoods may be suspicious people are being voiced by Upanga ward leaders who don’t know the identity of their investors.

A bird’s eye view of the skyscrapers around Muhimbili National Hospital in Dar es Salaam. File photo.

Since 2010, the area around the country’s largest referral hospital has seen the mushrooming of high rise commercial and residential blocks some as high as 15 floors high.

Speaking to Property Watch, Upanga West Ward Executive Officer, Alphonce Msenduki said he has no details of the developers except his concerns that the area has no sufficient infrastructure to accommodate the skyscrapers.

“The available infrastructure in our area is suitable for normal housing units and not dozens of skyscrapers which are currently here. The sewerage system is of the late 1970s with capacity to handle waste water for a few hundreds of people but now we are in thousands,” Msenduki said.

He said the high-rise blocks have also blocked storm water drainage while suffocating the area with garbage as there are not enough collectors to attend to them.

“It’s confusion because there has been no proper planning for this development,” the frustrated WEO lamented while calling on Ilala Municipal officials to intervene and stop issuing building permits.

He said the area which has six schools including Tambaza Boys Secondary School is normally flooded after brief rains because drainage has been overwhelmed due to random construction of the blocks.

“We don’t need to see our area turned into a congested place like Kariakoo which stench water flowing on the surface permanently. As I speak to you now, there is stench water stagnant along Mindu street because the sewerage system is overwhelmed,” the added.

According to him, currently West has more than 14,000 residents while the waste water and drainage systems were meant for less than 1,000 in 1970s.

Deodatus Kalinjuna who is an Upanga-Charambe sub location executive, said municipal planners should make sure that construction of high-rise blocks should go abreast with infrastructure investment.

“We need these developers to visit our offices before starting their construction projects. The worst thing is that we even don’t know the property owners but we are just informed by contractors a few days before such huge projects kick off,” Kalinjuna said.

He argued that as local leaders, they need to be informed in advance about any major construction project so that they can also make suggestions based on their experience.

Kalinjuma noted that it’s wrong that the developers should simply get approval from municipal officials who don’t have first hand information on such areas hence the myriad of problems which follow.

“This kind of development is also a threat to the environment and conservation of Upanga. Tanesco, Dawasco and Tanroads are all struggling to cope with demand for their services here because the area is simply overwhelmed,” he underlined.

Efforts to get answers from Ilala Municipal Director and Dar es Salaam City Director proved futile during the week until we went to press.

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