Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Dar es Salaam One of the Dirtiest Cities in Africa


TANZANIA (eTN) - Police vans and city authority officials are scattered all over in most key places of Dar es Salaam city, supervising cleanliness on preparations to welcome the American President who jets in this Monday.
Ranked among the top dirtiest cities in Africa, Tanzania’s commercial capital, Dar es Salaam, was established in 1857 by the Sultan of Zanzibar, Seyyid Al-Majjd, as the designated new capital. He moved to this new city in 1862, but died before accomplishing his development plans for the new capital.
He named this city Dar es Salaam or “Haven of Peace” for its good weather, a good port position in the Indian Ocean, and a good direction of trade winds.
Today, Dar es Salaam is growing to be known as one of the dirtiest cities in the world, holding the 12th position as a dirtiest.
The coming of the US President to Tanzania has been a welcome to clean environmental campaigners who had worked hard to maintain cleanliness within Dar es Salaam city, but with little or no support from City Fathers including city mayors, councilors, and executive directors.
“We are happy to welcome Mr. Obama in this city. At last, authorities rose from slumber to clean the roads and flash out vagabonds from their hideouts,” an environmental campaigner, Mary Jone, told eTN.
Laxity, corruption, and poor performance within Dar es Salaam’s City Council authorities have brought about a total failure to make this commercial capital of Tanzania a clean and tourist friendly site.
It has become difficult and cumbersome for tourists and other holidaymakers to walk and stroll along the roads heading to and from their booked hotels due to the dirty environment, vagabonds, and muggers who take advantage of the dirty environment to scare and rob tourists.
Residents in this city do not know why government authorities have failed to draw up plans that would make Tanzania’s capital a tourist friendly city, as are other African cities including Durban, Johannesburg, and Cape Town in South Africa; Harare in Zimbabwe; Gaborone, Cairo, Abidjan in Cote D’Ivore; or other northern Tanzanian tourist towns of Arusha and Moshi, all of which are clean and tourist friendly urban centers.
Among other environmental hazards and key hosts of foreign visitors and tourists to Dar es Salaam are the Black Indian Crows, scattered at every corner of the city’s skies. Swarming swiftly from one place to another, Indian crows pose a big environmental menace to city residents.
They are able to carry anything they think is edible, like pieces of a bread, a piece of meat, fish, and dead animals left to rot on streets. They snatch baby caps to build their nests, and they snatch newly-hatched chicks from open grounds, along with anything they find attractive to them.
US President Obama will manage to spot some of these birds when he visis the US embassy grounds in Dar es Salaam, where the crows don’t recognize the power of the US, though the former US ambassador to Tanzania, Mr. Robert V. Royall, had once taught them a lesson.
Some years back, when he was appointed the US ambassador to Tanzania by former US President George W. Bush, he one day found himself with unwanted black fowl visitors in his lawn garden - the crows.
The hundreds of crows cavorting and cawing on the new embassy lawns were just too much for the US ambassador, so he called in members of his Marine detachment, and they marched to the back of the compound, carrying 12-gauge shotguns.
Sitting in a golf cart, the ambassador waited behind tall grass. The crows landed all around him. And he began firing birdshot, he told the Boston Globe.
"We were successful - to a point," the former envoy said of his unusual assignment. He said the many late afternoons spent hunting resulted in the killing of about 1,000 crows.
“Our success, actually, was almost nil. The crow population has steadily grown to an estimated one million birds today,” he said.
The ever-so-common bird, imported from India more than a century ago by a sultan of Zanzibar to eat garbage, is almost universally reviled in this coastal East African city.
These crows have wiped out other bird populations and raised concerns that they could possibly pass on avian influenza, because they are known to attack and eat young chickens.
The new US embassy, which was built after an al Qaeda bomb attack in
1998 destroyed parts of the old one, is one of the hot spots for crows, apparently because it has several water sources in its backyard.
The US embassy in Tanzanian is decorated with green environment, made up of beautiful trees with mango tees nearby, all providing a good habitat for black crows.
Michael Retzer, the then former US ambassador who took over from Robert Royall, said some people "who had a good sense of humor" asked him questions that at first he thought were odd.
"They would ask me, 'Well, Ambassador, do you hunt?'" Retzer told a journalist in his office, from which he sees crows all day long.
"Those crows were such a nuisance," said Royall, a long-time bird hunter. "They were such pests. They killed other birds, they made a mess. But we just made a dent" in the population.
The crow has almost no fear of anything, including people, and is known to steal food from school children. It is also a fast breeder, laying four to five pale blue-green eggs twice a year.


Anonymous said...

Leo Dar ni safi kwa sabaua ya ziara ya Obama. Ngoja wiki moja ipite mji utachufuka tena!

Chanel said...