1. bookVolume 16 (2022): Issue 1 (June 2022)
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
1646-7752
First Published
16 Jun 2016
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
Languages
English
access type Open Access

Planned Vulnerabilities? Street Flooding and Drainage Infrastructure in Colonial Dar es Salaam

Published Online: 24 Jun 2022
Volume & Issue: Volume 16 (2022) - Issue 1 (June 2022)
Page range: 29 - 47
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
1646-7752
First Published
16 Jun 2016
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
Languages
English
Abstract

Technology can be both a problem and a solution in connection with critical events like road flooding in cities. This article explores how roadwork undertaken during German and British colonial rule created a situation which has, ever since, made the city of Dar es Salaam in Tanganyika (now Tanzania) vulnerable to flooding. The article identifies colonial spatial planning, a globally circulating engineering culture, and an undue emphasis on anti-malarial measures as the main causes of the flood vulnerability of roads. After decades of neglect, repeatedly flooded streets made the construction of drainage infrastructure an increasingly necessary preventive solution. Only slowly did drainage become an integral feature of road design, thus decreasing the city’s vulnerability to floods. Drawing on analyses of archival and documentary sources, the article contends that the making of the vulnerability and criticality of roads and drainage systems unfolded within a socio-technical context which reflects colonial structures and terrains in the Global South.

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