• Naomba, Naomba/ Nadir Tharani

In this article, originally posted on Dar Guide, August 2004 as Naomba, Naomba, Architect Nadir Tharani demonstrates how our spaces are bereft of human interaction and how as architects, designers, government and the common man, we have all failed towards human enrichment in our public spaces . When we sit down at the end of the day and look at our African Cities through a thin scope, don’t we all PRAY that things were a little bit different. Here is Naomba...

Previous naombas have set out ways of making this city more comfortable, a series of interventions that would require minimal resources. Everyone has their wish list, dreams and hopes of what should happen, of what may happen in this city, in their lives.

So, this being the last of the naombas, here is one wish list:

o   Naomba enough space in the city centre for bus drop offs so that rush hour journeys do not resemble ranching – passengers being pressed into tin containers.

o   Naomba preservation of the existing open spaces and reinforcement in the form of additional open spaces. More attention should be paid to that insidious erosion of the few remaining open spaces that are being taken over by individuals/companies who claim they are temporary custodians!
Naomba Naomba Nadir Tharani Streets and Green Spaces in Dar es Salaam

o   Naomba preservation of some the existing buildings of the old city centre, not only as relics or evidence of Dar’s history, but because the scale of the buildings is suited to the available space, the width of the road, the non-availability of parking spaces. This would also allow breezes to pass and penetrate – now blocked by the plague of tall structures.

o   Naomba streetlights and pavements (as in previous articles).

o   Naomba cycle paths radiating across the city.

o   Naomba pedestrianised streets where furious cars are not allowed

o   Naomba respect for zebra crossings so that children do not have to wonder if stepping on the road will be their last act.

o   Naomba respect for old people and handicapped persons trying to cross the road; that beer or meeting can wait another ten seconds.

o   Naomba alternatives to barbed wire to be used as fencing of grassed areas.

o   Naomba water, power and drains for all areas of the city. Cholera has no district boundaries, and power is essential for the schooling (homework) of children. The well-being of all the inhabitants of a city is a prerequisite for a civil society.

o   Naomba that Tanesco, TTCL and cable operators meet and talk to each other to organise the wiring of the city. There would be fewer accidents; perhaps less trees will have to be lopped off.

o   Naomba respect for sleep and silence, those innate parts of the human psyche, presently flouted and abused by the indiscriminate location of bars, loudspeakers, and organized meetings (religious or otherwise).

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