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Dar postcode system to easy communication

Dar postcode system to easy communication

“When you reach Buguruni Malapa as you come from the city centre, you will see a petrol station on your right hand side, before you reach the station you will see a showroom, from there turn right, then you will see a barbershop. Go straight and after few steps you will see a baobab tree. From that tree count two houses, the third one is where my home is.”

It is an awkward way of directing someone to your home, very embarrassing indeed but what should one do in a city where about 70 per cent of the settlements are located in unplanned areas?In an attempt to do away with this ordeal, the government through the Ministry of Communication, Science and Technology in collaboration with the Tanzania Communication Regulatory Authority (TCRA) and City Council fathers have come up with the physical address or postcode project.

According to the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Communication, Science and Technology, Dr Florens Turuka the project is estimated to cost 6bn/- in the city of Dar es Salaam alone.He said the physical address system will define individuals and businesses by their place of residence and postcode so as to ease postal delivery, business operation, social services delivery as well as other social connections.

“We have already spent 1bn/- in executing the project in Dodoma and Arusha townships, the next move will be Dar es Salaam where, in collaboration with the city council, we will implement the project,” he said.The Arusha and Dodoma municipalities’ pilot projects which were implemented by the TCRA have covered 5,000 and 7,500 houses respectively.

Dr Turuka, however, noted that the undertaking in Dar es Salaam faces a shortage of funds as the budget put in place for that purpose is not satisfactory calling for a need by stakeholders to give a helping hand in making the city a better place.

"We are planning to have a fundraising dinner which will bring together development partners and other well-wishers in a bid to add to what we have put aside so as to start the project as planned," he said.



He said that the postcode project was been implemented by the government in a quest to meet international standards of identifying places using advanced technologies.He noted that the Electronic and Postal Communications Act No. 3 of 2010 and its regulations which were formulated in 2011 task the TCRA to implement the project.

Dr Turuka noted that the law gives mandate to the project implementers to also name the streets and that any move by anybody else to name his or her street was illegal.“Many streets in Dar es Salaam are named without following proper procedures, people who are doing this are breaching the law,” he warned.

The Dar es Salaam City Mayor, Dr Didas Masaburi said that the project was vital in boosting the city as a tourist destination as well as business activities.He noted that city residents were increasingly depending on various suppliers who does home delivery but with the current situation of the city plan, it has been a hard task to get into people’s homes.

"Dar es Salaam has so many tourist attractions but for a long time we have failed to market our tourism destinations for lack of postcodes that would guide tourists," he said.

Dr Masaburi mentioned that about 70 per cent of all the city dwellers are located in unplanned areas which poses a challenge of accessing their homes physically especially for guests.

“Continuing to use postal boxes as our addresses is like creating an impression that people in Dar es Salaam live in boxes. This is an old fashioned way of identifying people and we should hurry and implement the postcode project to go modern,” he said.

He added that involvement of stakeholders in the process was vital as the project would have direct impact on individuals’ lives.“People should understand that with postcode in place tourists will move comfortably around the city, businesses will expand and people’s economic powers will rise as the project will create employments,” he said.

The Legislator for Kigamboni Constituency, Dr Faustine Ndungulile noted that the project has come a little bit late as city dwellers have had too many troubles in directing guests to their homes.“It has been difficult to reach some places in Dar es Salaam and some services have been difficult to deliver to some places due to lack of a proper identification mechanism in place,” he said.

Dr Ndungulile, however, cautioned that it would be wise for the project to go hand in hand with better plans of the city settlements to avoid coming up of new haphazard settlements.The TCRA Postcode Project Coordinator, Mr Haruni Lemanya, however, ruled out fears over the impracticability of the project in the city due to unplanned nature of the settlements.

He noted that a case study conducted in South Africa shows that despite the haphazard nature of city settlements, the postcode project is possible.

"We will have in place various methods of giving postcodes to planned and unplanned settlements but we believe at the end all houses will be accessible through postcodes," he said.

The TCRA Communications Manager, Mr Innocent Mungy said that with the postcode in place, it would be possible for a guest in the city with an aid of a Global Positioning System (GPS) to cruise around without stopping and asking people.GPS is a satellite-based navigation system made up of a network of 24 satellites placed into orbit it is used in directing drivers around the world without any subscription fees or setup charges.

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Author: ABDULWAKIL SAIBOKO

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