The overall objective of the Mlalakua River Restoration Project (MRRP) was to restore the health of the Mlalakua River and to prevent further pollution on a sustained basis. This could only be achieved through the collective engagement of all relevant stakeholders, restoring the river’s natural functions, and building systems to ensure sustainable management of solid and liquid waste to prevent further pollution. From the start, it was clear that experiences drawn from this initiative would be used to inspire and to inform actions aimed at improving the conditions of other rivers and streams in Dar es Salaam. This case reflects a success in the Exit and Scale Phase of the WRAF. To assess impacts and lessons learnt in the MRRP, partners dedicated the last two steering committee meetings to ensure final commitments from each partner – i.e. what will they do to keep carrying out relevant activities after the project is closed – and to gather lessons learnt, which led to the publication of a jointly-written brochure on shared experiences.
The project was officially closed and handed over to the public sector and partners during the final learning event on 18 March 2016, held at the Ministry of Water and Irrigation (MOWI) and chaired by the Permanent Secretary of the MOWI. This was the occasion to present the partnership approach and the lessons learnt to a wide number of stakeholders, including community members, local government authorities, CSOs, water resources management authorities, and development partners.
In terms of scaling up, the Mlalakua partnership experience inspired at least three initiatives replicating the spirit of the project, i.e. the Cleanest Mtaa Competition, the Neighbourhood Solid Waste Practice, and a decentralized faecal sludge treatment plant. It was also the starting point of broader discussions on Dar Es Salaam industrial waste water management.