In rapidly urbanizing catchments, increase in stormwater runoff may cause serious erosion and frequent floods if stormwater management systems are improper and dysfunctional. Through GIS-based modelling, field investigations, resident’s questionnaire survey, and interviews with officials, the study set out to assesses the coverage and efficiency of drainage infrastructure in Mbezi River catchment basin in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Between 2003 and 2016, the catchment imperviousness increased by 41%, causing flood incidents, massive erosion, and numerous pollution sources. Residents strive to address stormwater hazards using terraces, hedges, and physical barriers; however, the problems persist, indicating lack of coordination and poor causality understanding between land-use changes and catchment impacts. Small-scale stormwater harvesting was exercised by 75% of the households, pointing to water supply challenges. Municipal stormwater management efforts was limited to roadside drains covering 17% of road lengths in the catchment, and 65% of those did not meet their design standards. Interviews with officials revealed a need for improved co-understanding and collaborative initiatives to bolster integrated water management. The study suggests a need to adopt a new urban stormwater management paradigm, appropriate for both residents and authorities. Without this new discourse, the urbanization led stormwater increase might jeopardize the liveability of the entire catchment.
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