24 February 2014

Tanzania: Masaki 'Towers' Raise Concern in Dar

CONCERN has been raised over the legality of some multi-storey buildings, which are being constructed at Masaki in Kinondoni municipality.

Several residents interviewed by this newspaper have expressed alarm over the extent of construction activities in the plush city suburb, stressing that buildings should not exceed four storeys.

A 'Daily News' survey has established the presence of the so-storeyed buildings, with some already completed and many others in their construction stages.

A resident in the area, who preferred anonymity, tipped off this reporter on the presence of a government notice that has set building specifications for the area in which buildings shouldn't exceed four storeys.

"But to our surprise, there are number of new buildings going up to between five and seven storeys, putting a big question mark over their legitimacy," the resident remarked.

He added that they have sent their complaints to relevant authorities, including the city council but could not be provided with pleasing answers.

"We suspect there could be elements of corruption in this matter," he noted. The resident pointed out that the recommended length of a floor was supposed to be 2.5 metres but some builders were even raising the length to 3.5 metres.

He questioned the seriousness of the government in dealing with people who were deliberately violating rules and regulations despite the fact that the matter has been reported to authorities -- and no action was taken.

He noted that construction activities were mostly being done on weekends and during evening and nights, a trend that convinced them that the buildings were being erected against regulations.

In the 'Daily News' survey, a number of buildings were found to range between three and six storeys. Some of the buildings established to have exceeded four floors by this newspaper include the one on Plot Number 321 in Msasani Peninsular with building permit (BP) No. 16040 and another building on plot number 1737 with BP No. 15718.

Other buildings are on Plot Number 1501, 1502 with BP No. 05625 and another building with BP No. 15746. Reached for comment, the Dar es Salaam City Director, Mr Wilson Kabwe, said the matter was under the Kinondoni Municipal Council "as they are ones responsible for issuing building permits in such areas".

The Mayor of Kinondoni, Mr Yusuph Mwenda, told the 'Daily News' that there were regulations passed by a Full Council meeting in the municipality to check the buildings in parts of Masaki and Oysterbay.

He pointed out that in a council meeting on 2012; members agreed that buildings within the area should range from one floor to five depending on which zone where the plot is located.

The mayor pointed out that city planning was guided by a zoning system, which implies that there were some areas where buildings were not allowed to go beyond two floors, three, four or five, depending on its locality.

Mr Mwenda explained that the zoning system did not apply to houses, which had already been built before 2012 or those whose permits were issued before that year.

"The authority is not issuing permits for storey buildings that go beyond the required number since the full council passed the zoning system in late 2012," he said. He added that authorities were conducting patrols to catch those who were defying regulations.

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