Located along the Indian Ocean, the Dar es Salaam wetland is a system of lagoons, creeks, intertidal mudflats with sea grass beds, estuaries, saltpans, mangrove forests, thickets, sand beaches, cliffs and several small islands. The area supports up to 30,000 migratory waterbirds during northern winter months and over 100,000 waterbirds use the site as a stop-over during their movement further south.
With over 3 million people already living in Dar es Salaam City, the pressure on the Dar es Salaam Wetland is increasing in step with the city’s rapid development. Urban encroachment is a pervasive threat to the wetland and could completely undermine its ecological integrity. Related threats include pollution of waterways by industrial and urban effluents, solid waste littering beaches, clearing of mangroves, beach erosion, oil spills and coastal tourism development.
In this context, many wetland areas are not yet protected. Insufficient knowledge and awareness of stakeholders and decision-makers on the importance and ecosystem services provided by wetlands is partly the cause of this lack of action, and it is threatening the future existence of the wetland ecosystem.
“To really stop unplanned development and guarantee proper management of the Dar es Salaam wetland, our Government needs to let the coastline become a Ramsar site, to protect our beautiful wetland from the increasing threats.” - Sophia Masuka, Project Manager.
A number of complexities at the local level prevented the Wildlife Conservation Society of Tanzania from building a much-needed Wetland Education Centre at the site. Although the WOW Demonstration Project in Tanzania is now closed, the project implemented some awareness-raising activities and produced a short film on the value of the Dar es Salaam Wetlands.
ADDITIONAL PROJECT INFORMATION:
LOCAL IMPLEMENTING AGENCIES:
WILDLIFE CONSERVATION SOCIETY OF TANZANIA
WCST is the only national conservation organization in Tanzania. WCST has been involved in an array of conservation activities at local and national levels. The Wildlife Conservation Society of Tanzania's mission is to work towards the conservation of the flora, fauna, and environment of Tanzania for the benefit of mankind.
For more information please see: www.wcstarusha.org