Assessment of community’s participation in conservation of open spaces in Dar es salaam city, Tanzania

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Sokoine University of Agriculture


Open spaces in cities like Dar es Salaam are facing problem of encroachments and conversion for residential and or commercial land uses. Many studies have been done to address the failure of the “top-down approach” by the government authorities and recommended participation and empowerment of local community around the open spaces. However, the state of awareness, perceptions and willingness of local community towards participation in conservation of open spaces (COSP) was still not known. This study therefore intended to assess households’ awareness and perceptions towards COSP, with a particular focus on their willingness to participate in COSP. Data was collected using structured households’ survey questionnaire, key informants interviews, focus group discussions and participatory observation at Mkunguni, Minazini, Sharifushamba and Charambe mitaa in Kinondoni and Ilala municipalities, Dar es Salaam city. Quantitative data were analysed using Statistical Packages for Social Sciences (SPSS) while qualitative data were analysed using content analysis. Results show that majority of the respondent were aware on the types and functions of recreational parks, sports grounds and playing fields compared to other types of open spaces. Majority (67.5%) were aware of Urban Planning Act as enforcing tool while about 94% denied collaboration from statutory bodies in COSP. About 95% and 70.8% perceived that, conservation of open spaces is costing but also beneficent respectively while 73.3% perceived that, existing open spaces have poor quality. Using cross tabulations and regression analysis the result revealed that, 55.8% of the respondents were willing to participate in COSP. Perceived quality, perceived benefits, education and duration of residence were the factors positively influenced households willingness in conservation of open spaces. It is recommended that the modalities should be sought to empower and take into consideration the local community’s interest in conservation of open spaces.



open space, Dar es Salaam, land uses, encroachments