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Dar es Salaam, United Republic of Tanzania: Housing for People Living With HIV/AIDS

Part of the "More Than Just a Roof Over My Head" Booklet

July 2010

The HIV/AIDS Epidemic

HIV prevalence in Dar es Salaam, the major economic city and port for Tanzania, is around 9%, compared to a national prevalence that has stabilized at around 6%. Urban HIV prevalence is almost twice as high as rural HIV presence across the country, though the epidemic is expected to rise in poorer rural areas. HIV prevalence is higher among the wealthy than among the poor. Dar es Salaam is the region with the second highest HIV incidence, following Iringa.

The Housing Crisis

Dar es Salaam has a population of four million people, making it Tanzania's largest city. Tanzania is urbanizing at a rate of 6% per year, and the large population growth of Dar es Salaam, in part due to the arrival of 100,000 migrants per year, has not been accompanied by effective urban planning, resulting in rapid urban sprawl and horizontal expansion. Approximately 70% of the city's residents live in informal settlements, many of which lack essential services such as electricity, water and sanitation, solid waste management, and health and education facilities. According to data from the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Human Settlements, 80% of Dar es Salaam's housing units are in unplanned settlements. Most slum homeowners lack official titles to their homes, and women own 11% of the homes. The majority of slum dwellers work in the informal sector, if they work at all. Estimates indicate that 50% of slum dwellers in Dar es Salaam live on an average income of one dollar a day.

Institutional Response & Solutions

Informal business in the slums of Dar es Salaam.

Informal business in the slums of Dar es Salaam.

The main objective of Dar es Salaam's Community Infrastructure Upgrading Program (CIUP) is to "improve the living and economic conditions of the communities in Dar es Salaam through the provision of basic infrastructures and services. In so doing, it will also alleviate poverty by increasing employment and income generation opportunities." However, CIUP had been executed in just 31 of the city's 71 informal settlements by July 2008, representing only 20% of the city's unplanned areas.

All national policies in Tanzania are guided by the National Strategy for Growth and Reduction of Poverty, whose aim is to promote "equitable, broad-based and sustainable economic growth and reduction of poverty and vulnerability." Tanzania's national health policy prioritizes the most vulnerable and recognizes health as an essential resource for poverty reduction; however, it does not identify who the most vulnerable groups are. The national AIDS policy "recognizes the vicious circle between HIV and AIDS and poverty, and therefore stresses interventions for control of the epidemic to be simultaneously related to poverty alleviation initiatives."

Advocate testimony and photos provided by Andreas Nshala of HIV/AIDS Anonymous International.


Dar es Salaam City Council, Dar es Salaam City Profile, 2004.

Kaihuzi, Magdalena (HIVAI), Home Property Ownership Assessment in Low-Income Areas of Dar es Salaam City with more Focus on Property Ownership by Women: Survey in Ilala, Kinondoni and Temeke Municipalities, 2008.

UNGASS Country Progress Report: Tanzania, 2010.

World Bank, Tanzania Country Assessment Report, 2002.

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This article was provided by National AIDS Housing Coalition. Visit NAHC's website to find out more about their activities and publications.
See Also
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