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Emergency contingency planning, Tanzania

Emergency contingency planning, Tanzania

1 January 2001

In collaboration with the European Union, a GIS project has been developed for contingency planning in Tanzania, taking into account environmental concerns. Image Consult, a Belgian company, has been contracted to develop a GIS database and to assist with contingency planning in Kigoma and Kagera regions.

A national institution, TANRIC, has been hired to digitise information such as road networks, water resources, protected area boundaries and land-use in order to add this information to the GIS database.

A Steering Committee meeting was organised in July 1997 to launch the project with the various partners - UNHCR, Image Consult, TANRIC and the Tanzania National Mapping and Survey Agency. A second meeting is scheduled to take place in 1998 in order to present the GIS prototype to the committee. Following this, the prototype will be modified, if necessary, in order to present a final product, which is expected to be used as a decision-making tool for planning purposes for UNHCR and its partners in western Tanzania.

Final reports have been received from TANRIC and a forestry expert. Final reports from Image Consult and BO Dar es Salaam will be available at the end of the project, late 1998.

Training is also planned under this project. As part of a capacity-building exercise, one specialist of the Mapping and Survey Department will receive overseas training in GIS and satellite image processing.

The GIS database will be a useful planning tool, especially in the context of the continual influx of refugees to western Tanzania. It will assist UNHCR and its partners with the selection of potential locations, taking into account environmental considerations for planning new camps or for extending others. It will also constitute a solid environmental database for the UNHCR and the government, and will be used by the latter for the future development of Kigoma and Kagera regions.