History – Present – Targets (2004/05) – PART I


I. Vision and Mission of Mwanza City

Vision: The development of Mwanza City should be people centred with the main objective of engendering wealth and sharing it equitably within the society. To achieve this, the City has to ensure that there is good governance and the rule of law to create equal opportunities for all residents to achieve their maximum potential.

Mission: Mwanza City Council intends to build capacity for its residents through provision of services that meet requirements of females and males and children by using the available resources and taking into account environmental issues and promoting good governance through community participation.

1. Background

1.1 Location

Mwanza City is located on the southern shores of Lake Victoria in Northwest Tanzania. It covers an area of 1325km2 of which 425 is dry land and 900km2 is covered by water. Of the 425km2 dry land area, approximately 86.8Km2 is urbanized while the remaining areas consist of forested land, valleys, cultivated plains, grassy and undulating rocky hill areas.

1.2. Climate and Physical setting
Mwanza City lies at an altitude of 1,140 metres above the sea level. Mean temperature ranges between 25.7OC and 30.2OC in hot season and 15.4oC and 18.6OC in the cooler months.
The City experiences between 700 and 1000mm of rainfall per year falling in two fairly distinct seasons i.e. between the months of October and December and between February and May.
The City is characterised by gently undulating granites and granodiorite physiography with isolated hill masses and rock inselbergs. It is also characterised by well-drained sandy loamy soil generated from course grained cretaceous. The vegetation cover is typical savannah with scattered tall trees and tall grass.
There are 25 hectares of Land in Ilemela district and 21 hectares at Nyamagana district which are suitable for irrigation.

1.3. Historical background
Mwanza town was founded in 1892 as a regional Administration and Commercial Centre to control mainly export production of the cotton growing areas in the Lake Victoria Zone. In 1978 Mwanza obtained the status of Municipality in line with the local government structure established in 1972. In 2000, Mwanza was further promoted to a City status. Currently there are two cities another being Dar Es Salaam.

1.4. Administrative Structure
Mwanza City is comprised of two Districts, namely Nyamagana & Ilemela. There are also two Divisions and 21 Wards. These Wards are:

Rural wards –Ilemela (Sangabuye, Bugogwa, Ilemela, Buswelu)
                    – Nyamagana (Igoma, Buhongwa and Mkolani).
Urban wards:  -Ilemela – (Kirumba, Kitangiri, Nyamanoro, Pansiasi, Nyakato)
                        -Nyamagana- ( Pamba, Isamilo, Mkuyuni, Nyamagana, Mbugani, Butimba, Mirongo).

Administratively, the City Council is run by the Councillors under the leadership of Lord Mayor. However, the day-to-day administration of the City is done by the City Director who is assisted by Heads of departments – and sections. At the Ward level there are Ward Executive Officers who are under the City Director.

The City has 9 Departments: Engineering, Urban Planning, Economic and Trade, Community Development, Health Department, Finance, Manpower Development, Co-operative and Agriculture and Education and Culture.

There are also two advisory units to the City Director namely, Internal Auditing and Legal Services.

1.5. Population
According to the 2002 National Census, Mwanza City has a total of 476,646 (Nyamagana District 210,735 and Ilemela 265, 911). The current population is estimated to be just above half a million people with an annual natural growth rate of 3.2% and rural to urban immigration almost 8%(National Population Causes 2002). The population density is 134 people per sq. km, being the second in the country after Dar es salaam.

1.6 Employment
The majority of Mwanza people are self-employed. According to 1998 Mwanza Environmental profile report (pg.3), 4% of people were self-employed, 32 employed and 27% unemployed. Most of the employed people work in the service sector, while those who are self-employed are involved in petty trade, tilling land, micro-fishing activities etc. The current figure of the employment in the City (Employed and Self employed) stands at about 50%. The average per capita income is about US$21 per month.



2.1 Housing and Informal settlements
Housing in Mwanza City can be divided into two categories. One is housing in the planned and surveyed areas and second is in the unplanned (squatter) areas.

The current statistics show that the City has about 50,000 housing units out of which 60% are built in the unplanned areas.

Planned settlements in Mwanza:

  • Zone O: Central area
  • Zone A: Capripoint, Isamilo
  • Zone B: Bwiru and Nyakato block F and G
  • Zone C: Nyakato, Nyegezi, Nyamanoro, Ilemela, Kiseke, Kiloleli and Pasiansi.
  • Zone D: Other planned areas ( Not much developed).
  • Zone E: Unplanned settlements (Igogo, Bugarika, Mabatini, Butimba, Igoma) etc.

Unplanned settlements accommodate about 70 of the City population.
Unplanned settlements are characterised by:

  • High congestion of buildings
  • Poor accessibility
  • Lack of physical infrastructures like electricity, roads, and telephones as well as public facilities like dispensaries, open spaces etc.
  • Inadequate hygienic services like toilets, disposal of solid wastes etc.


The 3500 housing plots is a new project that was initiated by the City Council as a means of solving the building plots problem in the City.

The project started by planning the selected sites, surveying plots in these areas by using the private companies (3 sites) and office staff (one area). These sites are Buswelu (by offices staff), Nyegezi, Kiseke and Nyamhongolo.

After having 3500 plots, the City Council made an application to the Ministry of Lands and Human Settlements Development to get money to pay compensation and provide basic infrastructure (Gravel roads and culverts). The Ministry agreed this application and facilitated the Council with Tshs. 830 Million (about U$ 830,000).

After receiving the loan, the City Council started with Buswelu which is planned as a District Centre where facilities like Government District Headquters, District Hospital, Municipal Hall, Stadium, etc. have been included in this plan. Land in this area was sold at a rate of Tshs. 800/m2 and the average price of these plots were as follows: High density Tshs.400,000; Medium density Tshs. 600,000 and low Density Tshs 800,000. Plots for public buildings were sold at an average price of Tshs. 5.5 million each. All 1300 plots at Buswelu area were sold within the first two weeks of the first month and the demand remains very high.

The office is on preparation to start this exercise at Nyegezi after finishing the land compensation exercise to be followed with Nyamhongolo, Kiseke and Buswelu phase 2.

The project’s impact.
The project has opened a new room for easy availability of plots in the City. It is a millestone in a City’s efforts to fight invasion of hills by squatters and also a relief to the City’s image to people who visit Mwanza.

Challenges to the Project

The project is facing the following problems/challenges:
1. Availability of water: Water component was not included in the project write-up. This component would increase the project’s costs hence hike the price of building plots.
Problem: People who have bought plots in these areas will face this problem for a long time if some remedial measures are not taken now.
Note: Water supply assistance to these housing areas is a key aspect to make this project successful. The City Council is looking for donors/ friends who can supports it in a providing this important service.

 2. Sanitation The project design did not consider the sanitation aspect in detail. The plan dwelt on onsite household liquid wastes disposal instead of Central Sewer System.
Note: The project needs to address the issue of sanitation properly. The City Council is struggling to see that this element is included in its project areas by requesting donors and other Urban development facilitators to help it to reach this end.

 3. Housing finance facilityMany  residents who bought plots in these housing areas will depend on personal savings to develop them. Housing finance facility in Mwanza is almost absent, hence only very few people can approach commercial banks which charge very high interest rate for their loan money for credit.
Note: There is a need of having a housing finance facility in Mwanza. The City Council asks Institutions which are dealing with this kind of business to come and open branches in Mwanza.

Many people in Mwanza (70%) live in the unplanned settlements. These settlements, apart from lacking basic facilities like roads, schools and water, some of them are located at very steep rocky hills that reaching them and providing basic sanitation systems becomes very difficult. The Council is in a process of identifying some settlements which can be planned, surveyed and be provided with basic services and facilities.

Two settlements (Ibungilo and Isamilo juu) have once been studied and included in the City upgrading programme, but the implementation of these schemes were curtailed by financial constraints. Currently the office has opted to select small portions of settlements where through participatory process they are provided with access roads/foot paths before being surveyed and individuals be issued title deeds.

This process has started with part of Igogo in Igogo ward, Isegeng’he in Nyakato ward and Igoma Mlimani in Igoma Ward and Mabatini Polisi in Mbugani Ward. The process in Mecco Mashariki in Nyakato Ward is a bit different as people in this area preferred to begin with surveying their individual plots through which roads will be identified and demarcated.

Challenge: the biggest challenge in the upgrading project is the availability of money for that purpose. In the places where we began with, people were mobilized themselves to contribute some money for that purpose at a rate of between Tshs. 30,000 (US $30) and Tshs. 50,000(US$50). However this amount is very little to meet the basic needs of the exercise.

For example, during the CBEM project under DANIDA, such kind of upgrading projects were initiated in Igogo and Pamba Wards where the donor contributed some technical expertise and building materials in the access road project where the community contributed land and labor. Availability of such kind of support can very much reduce the upgrading burden that the Council faces.
HENCE: Availability of technical and financial support can help the City Council to meet its target of upgrading squatter settlements and effect resettlement for settlements which are located at dangerous/difficult locations

NB: (CBEM is Capacity Building for Environmental Management; DANIDA is Danish International Development Agency).

2.2. Informal sector
Informal sector in Mwanza refers to micro-enterprises that are not registered and do not have business licences. These include selling old clothes, vegetables (at open spaces), carpentry, selling small items like cosmetics, shoes etc. In all occasions, the size of these businesses is so small that paying for a trade licence leads to the unaffordable situation.

In recognition of the contribution of this sector to the economy (employment), Mwanza City Council, in consultation with the traders themselves identified and established markets/working places of informal sector businesses. In all the cases, the City Council is targeting the Micro entrepreneurs who can’t afford to acquire ordinary plots from the land office due to the small nature of their businesses.

2.3. Health
2.3.1 . Hearth infrastructure.
Mwanza City has 7 hospitals lead by the Bugando Medical Centre – a referral hospital and 220 health centers.

2.3.2 Solid Wastes Management and Street Cleaning
Economic activities are generating substantial quantities of solid waste, Present it is estimated that the rate of solid waste generation in the City is between 0.6 – 0.75 kg per capital per day. Thus the amount of solid waste from domestic, institutional and commercial activities is estimated at about 375, 000-kg day. Industrial solid waste, largely from factories and industries, is assumed to be in the region of 500,000 kg 1 day. On a daily basis therefore, about 875,000kg of solid waste are generated in the Mwanza City.

The present capacity of Mwanza City council to manage solid waste is still very limited. The MCC operates a refuse collection fleet made up of only 4 operating trucks, which could only collect around 30 percent of the total solid waste from residential, institutional and commercial premises and mostly within the central Business District areas, The waste collected is disposed of at an inadequately managed dumpsite in the Nyakato area, which is about of 8km from the central area. The rest (70) percent) of the daily solid waste generated are, in most cases is left uncollected and form heaps of rotting garbage all over Mwanza. During the rainy season, uncollected refuse is washed away and through stomata drains, dumped into Lake Victoria.

Privatization of Solid Wastes collection and street cleaning
The City Council is all the time trying to find solution to the problem of solid wastes management. Recently, the City Council has established partnerships with Community Based Organizations (CBOs) and a Private Company to clean and deal with solid wastes in the City. Thanks to the International Labour Organization for its support to build capacity of CBOs, NGOs and Private Companies which are involved in this sector in Mwanza City.

TheCBOs and a Company that are commissioned to do the job are paid by the City Council at a rate of Tshs. 1600 per 300m length of cleaned tarmac road daily. Cleaning of the unpaved streets is done by these organizations by charging residents of respective locations Tsh. 400 per month for residential premises and about Tshs. 4000 and above per month for business premises.

The decision to privatize the solid wastes collection and street cleaning has provided employment opportunities to among the City residents especially women and brought a big improvement on the image of the City.
While each CBOs employs about 30 people, a company employs more than 100 people a month to take care of these activities.
Almost all tarmac roads with their storm water drains are cleaned regularly and the filthy nature of these areas has very much been reduced. In the National Clean City/Municipality Competition which is organized by the Ministry of Health, the City jumped from the 12th position in 2003 to 3rd position in 2004. The City looks forward to maintain this position or move to higher position due to its own commitment in this issue.

Note: While the CBOs and a Company are facing shortage of working tools, the City Council is constrained with resources to buy enough trucks and trailers for ferrying garbage to its landfill site located at Buhongwa in the city.

2.3.3 Liquid Waste.
Most industries operating in Mwanza have limited wastewater treatment facilities. Some industries have installed small treatment units but these are generally of limited capacity, and the closeness to the lakeshore leads to the discharge of raw or semi – treated wastewater directly into Lake Victoria.

The total industrial effluent generation in Mwanza is estimated to be about 6,500m3 per day. Most garages lack oil and grease traps, hence oil and grease are washed off into the Lake Victoria especially during heavy rains. In this regard, even some fish processing industries discharge residues and remains into the Lake apart from the poor treatment of wastes that are taken to the dump sites. In addition, there is a good number of people who have no efficient toilets at the squatter settlements who use storm water to flush their toilets where wastes find their way to the Lake.

Thanks to the Mwanza Urban Water and Sanitation Authority (MUWASA) for ompleting the Pasiansi (Sabasaba) oxidation ponds and their plans to construct other oxidation ponds at Igoma and Mkuyuni areas in the City.

To be continued:

(2. continued)  IMPORTANT SECORS:  Education, Schools, Industry, Forestry, Animal Husbandry, Tourism

3. ECONOMIC INFRASTRUCTURE: Transport and Communication

4. INVESTMENT POTENTIALS IN MWANZA: Agriculture, Transport,  Telecommunication, Tourism, Education, Fishery, Mining