In 2008, the Tanzanian government announced a transport master plan that addressed the vast demographic growth of Dar es Salaam, the major commercial port city of Tanzania, and the severity of traffic congestion. The plan included six phases of a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project covering a total of 141.1km, which aimed to increase mobility, reduce congestion and improve accessibility, safety and the overall quality of public transportation along selected corridors in Dar es Salaam. BRT Phase 5 will serve the high-population density areas of Buguruni, Tabata, Kigogo and Temeke along the Mandela, Tabata, Kigogo and Mbagala roads, respectively. These areas have high concentrations of both residential and commercial activities.

AFD, the French Development Agency, commissioned RSK to update BRT’s environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA) for Phase 5 and ensure that the documentation met the environmental and social requirements of the donor, and that the project’s environmental and social team monitored the associated risks during project implementation. The ESIA upgrading ensured compliance with International Finance Corporation (IFC) Performance Standards 1–8, IFC Environmental and Health Safety Guidelines for roads and transport, IFC General EHS Guidelines, the World Bank’s Environmental and Social Standards and AFD’s environmental and social requirements.

Major activities delivered by the RSK Tanzania team included reviewing the existing ESIA report, undertaking a detailed gap analysis and development of the Gap Analysis Action Plan, and upgrading the existing ESIA reports, including the environmental and social management plan, which involved completing constituent baseline studies and impact analyses, including an ambient acoustics and vibration impact assessment. We also conducted a gender and vulnerable groups analysis along the project route to develop a gender action plan and identify and map pertinent stakeholders. Key concerns from consulted stakeholders were reviewed and incorporated into the project’s decision-making process to help further develop the stakeholder engagement plan.