Ardhi University - Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania

Unit or Programme:
Disaster Management Training Centre (DMTC)
Disaster Management
Unit Director:
Professor Gabriel Kassenga
Contact details:
Prof Gabriel Kassenga
Mr Benedict Malele
+255 71 359 9181
+255 22 277 1272

The institution was elevated to university status through the University Act No 7 of 2005, and signing of Ardhi University Charter by the President Jakaya Kikwete of the Tanzania on 28 March 2007, The University has a student body of just over 2500, but despite its size it offers 39 undergraduate and postgraduate programmes which range from standard diplomas to doctorates.

The Disaster Management Training Centre (DMTC) at Ardhi University was first established in May 2002, as one outcome of the country’s “Strengthening Tanzania Disaster Response Project” (STDRP). This initiative by the Disaster Management Department (DMD) of the Prime Minister’s Office, was prompted by major disaster incidents in Tanzania in the late 1990s, and was financially supported by USAID.

Although, initially Ardhi University (ARU) was involved in implementing the training component of the STDRP, the need to ensure the sustainability of disaster management training gave rise to the need of formalising DMTC in the structure of the University. Thereby the DMTC aims to strengthen Tanzania’s disaster response capacity through investing in training and applied research on urban risks and environmental management, advocacy, and the provision of public services in disaster management.

Main objectives of the DMTC;
  • To contribute in lessening of community vulnerability to disasters
  • To improve community preparedness, response capabilities and recovery mechanisms and
  • To enhance human resource disaster management capacity through training, research and consultancy
 Since its establishment in May 2002 and its subsequent formalization within the University structure in 2005, the Centre has performed a number of disaster risk management activities, which have had positive and recognised impacts in Tanzania which include:
  • Carrying out several short course trainings aimed at imparting knowledge related to disaster to government and non-government sectors both in mainland Tanzania and Zanzibar. In addition, the centre has always involved external expertise in designing and running its training courses, recognising that this promotes collaboration especially with other institutions actively involved in disaster risk management -related work;
  • Providing technical/outreach services to the government in matters related to disaster. For instance, recently, the Centre was commissioned by the Disaster Management Department of the Chief Minister’s Office (Zanzibar) and Disaster Management Department of the Prime Minister’s Office (Mainland Tanzania). The DMTC conducted two separate studies that aimed at establishing the capacities and capacity needs of key institutions involved in disaster related matters for both Zanzibar and Mainland Tanzania.
AÏDA Project (Advancing ICT for Disaster Risk Management) which aims at researching affordable ICT solutions in Africa with the intention of reducing the risk of disasters that are naturally triggered and to improve capacity to respond to disasters. Other initiatives and projects the unit has undertaken have included running several short courses on disaster risk reduction, emergency planning and environmental management as well as partnering with the government Disaster management Department to develop radio segments on preventing and responding to disasters.
Commissioned research
  • Disaster risks and capacity needs assessment for Zanzibar (2008) commissioned by the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar
  • Disaster risks and capacity needs assessment for Tanzania Mainland  (2008) commissioned by the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania
  • Community initiatives in managing urbanisation and risk accummulation processes: Lessons from Dar es Salaam (2006) commissioned by ProVention and the UNDP
  • Application of ICT in Disaster Risk Management in Tanzania (2010) commissioned by the European Union (EU)
  • Mainstreaming  Disaster Risk Reduction in urban planning practice in Tanzania (2009) commissioned by ProVention and UNDP
  • Vulnerability and Risk Assessment & Mapping (VRAM) commissioned by the Ministry of Health, Govt. of the United Republic of Tanzania
  • National state of the environment report (2013) commissioned by Vice President’s Office, Govt. of the United Republic of Tanzania
  • Strategies for mitigating flood hazard in the water resource management sector (2013) commissioned by Ministry of Water, Govt. of the United Republic of Tanzania
Academic Courses  t3
Since joining Periperi U in 2006, the university has launched postgraduate master’s programme focusing on disaster risk management, engineering and reduction. Further details about the programmes  and application procedures can be accessed here.
Short Courses  
The centre runs both ordinary and tailor made short courses covering the following topics;
  • Introduction to Disaster Risk Management
  • Emergency Planning and Management
  • Disaster Risk and Vulnerability Assessment
  • Management of Climate Change Induced Disaster Risks; and
  • Mainstreaming Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction in Development Agenda