Flooding in Dar

April 23, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

Dar es Salaam is experiencing one of the most intense rainy seasons to date. Many deaths have been reported and major parts of the city have just been reconnected after bridges failed and roadways flooded. Below is a recent photo I took while walking through the waist deep water was published on BBC.

Due to all the rain, major construction projects have stopped until the dry season sets in. One of the projects I am working on is to document the transition of Mandazi road from a quiet path into a large paved road. This road will likely be a major shortcut for the northern part of the city and I predict major changes coming to this community. However, with the rains, the project has temporarily stopped as has my ability to show any progression. Therefor, I'm using this opportunity to try and build my library of images of life on Mandazi road while working on my portraiture skills. Here's a shot that I'm pretty happy with and I would like to get more of these type of images to put a face to the community. 

Shaka shows me the rubble pile outside of his shop with the flooded road in the background. The rainy season has temporarily halted the road building project. Even with the piles of rubble and flooded street in front of his shop, he remains optimistic for the changes that are coming.

The more time I spend in this community the more I'm hoping people will not be bothered by my presence. So far so good with only a few moments where people gave me a hard time. But as always, the fact that I can reply in Swahili always has a positive effect. I've also started walking with my camera in my hand, fully visible, rather than tucked in my bag. This has had the effect of people questioning me rather than me needing to always start the conversation if I want to make a picture. Everyone is curious why this white guy is taking pictures and hopefully with time I won't be seen as too much of a stranger or a threat. In fact, yesterday I was invited into someones shop to photograph them without any instigation from me. Kids on the street are also warming up to me and slowly but surely I'm hoping to be able to tell the story of Manzani Road's transformation.

Without any changes in the road, I take a short tangent and play with some neighborhood kids who always like to see a good selfie.

 


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