Dodoma, Tanzania
City population: 2084000
Duration: 2019 – 2019
Implementation status: Completed
Scale: Sub-microscale: Street scale (including buildings)
Project area: unknown
Type of area: Residential, Public Greenspace Area, Central Business District / City Centre
Last updated: June 2022

Droughts are one of the most serious threats to water availability, food security, and local livelihoods in the semi-arid areas of Tanzania. Drought condition is coupled with a rainfall deficit and poor rainfall distribution. In Tanzania, drought conditions are observed more frequently in the country's northern and central portions (Arusha, Manyara, Shinyanga, Simiyu, and Dodoma). This consideration was paramount when in 2019, the Municipality of Dodoma, alongside ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability, erected a new garden positioned in a square in the centre of the city. Nyerere Square in Dodoma used to be an open, concrete space with the statue of Julius Kambarage Nyerere the only attraction apart from the informal traders scattered along the main walkway. Nyerere is the former prime minister and president of Tanganyika, as Tanzania was known before, and subsequently president of Tanzania. It would prove challenging to sustain such an initiative in this drought-prone city. To ensure the park outlived the project, the team installed a greywater system to irrigate the new garden and ensure there was always sufficient water to help the plants flourish. (1,2,3)

Site 1


Nature-based solution

  • Grey infrastructure featuring greens
  • Alley and street greens
  • Parks and urban forests
  • Pocket parks/neighbourhood green spaces

Key challenges

  • Climate action for adaptation, resilience and mitigation (SDG 13)
  • Climate change adaptation
  • Green space, habitats and biodiversity (SDG 15)
  • Habitat and biodiversity restoration
  • Green space creation and/or management
  • Regeneration, land-use and urban development
  • Promote natural styles of landscape design for urban development
  • Cultural heritage and cultural diversity
  • Protection of historic and cultural landscape/infrastructure
  • Health and well-being (SDG 3)
  • Creation of opportunities for recreation


Creation of new green areas

Project objectives

Nyerere Square is the icon of Dodoma built in the heart of the central business district to maintain the memory and the history of the former president of the United Republic of Tanzania. The intervention has the following goals: 1. To reduce the urban heat island effect and the intensity of heatwaves, which are predicted to become more intense as African cities continue to experience the impacts of climate change (mainly droughts). 2. To increase the area's biodiversity (therefore regulating the unbalanced ecosystem), as the square is located in a residential area surrounded by concrete and no patches of green spaces. 3. To provide an area of green retreat and respite for the city's inhabitants. 4. To address water problems in the area: conserve fresh drinking water while providing cities with the chance to enjoy the benefits of urban nature. 5. To strike a balance between implementing grey solutions and green solutions based on nature in a populated area (166 people/km2) of the city (1,2)

Implementation activities

The intervention was implemented in 2019. Engineers installed a greywater system that would irrigate the new garden while repurposing water that would normally be discarded. Plants do not require water filtered to standards of human consumption, so as long as the city produces greywater, the water supply continues. The team selected plants not only based on aesthetics but also on additional services that plants could bring to an urban environment. The plants chosen attract pollinators and provide shade and food, creating an urban oasis. After completion, the grass is green, the flowers bloom and the trees stand tall. Unexpectedly, and to the delight of the team, Nyerere Square has also become a popular place for photoshoots. It demonstrates the need for a long-term view in urban greening projects and consideration of the context, the water needs, and the purpose of the plants chosen for such projects. (1,2)

Climate-focused activities

Climate change adaptation:

  • Implement solutions to capture/store water to increase its availability and prevent shortages from droughts
  • Increase or improve urban vegetation cover to help reduce outdoor temperature
  • Create or improve outdoor spaces to help people escape from urban heat
  • Increase the use of climate-resilient plant species (resistant to drought, fire, and pests)

Biodiversity conservation or restoration-focused activities

Biodiversity restoration:

  • Rehabilitate and restore damaged or destroyed ecosystems
  • Restore species (native, endangered, or unspecified)

Main beneficiaries

  • Local government/Municipality
  • Citizens or community groups
  • Young people and children


Management set-up

  • Co-governance with government and non-government actors

Type of initiating organisation

  • Local government/municipality
  • Non-government organisation/civil society
  • Multilateral organisation

Participatory approaches/ community involvement

  • Unknown

Details on the roles of the organisations involved in the project

The intervention is a common initiative belonging to the Municipality of Dodoma and ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability, a global network of more than 2500 local and regional governments committed to sustainable urban development. (1)

Project implemented in response to ...

... an EU policy or strategy? No
... a national policy or strategy? Unknown
... a local policy or strategy? Yes (Dodoma has a National Capital City Master Plan (2019-2039) which mentions ICLEI as one of the stakeholders that contributed to the creation of the plan itself. Moreover, the plan includes references to the Nyerere Square, though not necessarly referring to the intervention led by ICLEI in 2019. (4))


Total cost


Source(s) of funding

  • Funds provided by non-governmental organization (NGO)

Type of funding

  • Direct funding (grants, subsidies, or self-financed projects by private entities)

Non-financial contribution


Impacts and Monitoring

Environmental impacts

  • Climate change
  • Lowered local temperature
  • Green space and habitat
  • Increased green space area
  • Enhanced support of pollination

Economic impacts

  • Unknown

Socio-cultural impacts

  • Health and wellbeing
  • Gain in activities for recreation and exercise

Type of reported impacts

Expected impacts

Presence of formal monitoring system


Presence of indicators used in reporting

No evidence in public records

Presence of monitoring/ evaluation reports

No evidence in public records

Availability of a web-based monitoring tool

No evidence in public records


Site 2
Information about this nature-based solution was collected as part of the UNA global extension project funded by the British Academy. The case study was identified through ICLEI's Cities with Nature initiative.