Michenzani is a large neighbourhood of Ng’ambo, the more modern part of Zanzibar City. The place is mostly known for a complex of apartment blocks constructed from large, prefabricated concrete slabs called “Plattenbauten” that have been built here in the late 1960s and early 1970s with the aid of East Germany. The Michenzani apartment blocks used to be the pride of revolutionary government of Zanzibar however since virtually no maintenance has been made after the 1970s, the buildings are now in a state of decay. Lack of water pressure makes water services unavailable from the second floors up. As a result many residents have installed their own water pumps, which are not in keeping with the original style of the buildings. What is more despite being the tallest public buildings in Zanzibar, no lifts were installed and all the flats are only accessible by stairs. The effects of socialist urban planning in Zanzibar you can see in the pictures above.
Michenzani Housing Project