By Nathalie Jean-Baptiste and Glory Thadeus
12 July 2016

ACTUS methodology troubleshooting meeting was held at Ardhi University to review the data collection procedures related to two associate research projects in Dar es Salaam’s peri-urban areas. The first study conducted by Venkat Aekbote, PhD candidate
from the technical University of Darmstadt, explores the opportunities and challenges for relocated flood victims in Dar es Salaam.
The second study undertaken by Joseph Osensa, Master student at the Institute for Housing and development Studies in Rotterdam,
investigates socio-economic, behavioral and geographical factors influencing household solid waste generation and disposal. Assistant
Professor Dr. Emilie Pinard from Laurentian University attended the meeting as a special guest.

Venkat presented the ‘new normal’ of relocated flood victims settled in Mabwepande in the northern part of Dar es Salaam. The 5 year old settlement hosts  approx. 4.400 inhabitants living in 1.006 houses in different levels of consolidation and with limited urban services. According to Venkat, the idea of recovery as a linear process is far from reality. Recovery is complex and often takes place in a context of irreversibly altered state caused by external factors. The relocation to Mabwepande exhibits multiple procedures and often opposite measures that have affected the lives of thousands of displaced people. Venkat notes that there is a considerable amount of literature on practical aspects of recovery ( e.g. housing reconstruction), however there is relatively little on opportunities and challenges as well as on the alteration of relationships and trajectories of change due to post-disaster resettlement. Venkat used mixed methods such as surveys, semi-structured interviews and group discussions.He also spent a considerable amount of time in Mabwepande doing participant observation, photography and video work. The trouble in Venkat’s work is how to handle and present  the data on 3 distinct settlements. To what extent the story of flood victims’ new normal  can/should be told as a whole or comparatively between settlements? What methodological concerns rise from comparison and how should they be addressed?

Joseph followed with a presentation on different factors influencing household’s solid waste generation and disposal in two contrasting peri-urban areas in Bunju and Kibada. His study explores waste attitude and behavior as well as the demography and economy of households disposing of solid waste in places with limited urban services. Joseph points out, that inadequate solid waste generation and disposal depend on different variables such as   household’s economic status and size, household members age, lifestyle and level of education, time spent at home as well as local and traditional cooking habits and reuse patterns. The trouble with Joseph’s work revolved around the data collection. challenges such as access to respondents, dealing with remoteness, trust  and accountability as well as accuracy of responses were some of the issues discussed.

More details on the Master thesis of Joseph Osensa can be found .