Community Disaster Risk Assessment in Arusha City, Tanzania

Herbert Hambati


Urban population growth has demonstrated synergetic relationship with the growth
of informal settlements and disasters, especially in developing countries. The increase
in the density of people in informal settlements in Tanzania has accelerated their
vulnerability to disaster risks. This study employs Community Participatory Disaster
Risk and Vulnerability Assessment (PDRVA) to analyse vulnerability to disasters in
informal settlements in Arusha city, Tanzania. The results show that a plethora of
factors—human, physical, social, and economic—interact in a complex non-linear way
to shape vulnerability to disasters in informal settlements in the city. Indigenous and
western knowledge in the settlements used to cope with environmental hazards hold
a great potential in shifting community responses to long-term considerations. The
study recommends that measures and strategies aimed at reducing disaster risks
should address the whole set of issues leading to poverty and disparities within the

Keywords: risk, vulnerability, disaster, informal settlements, Arusha, Tanzania.


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