The existing literature on urban governance regards street vendors as passive victims of evictions and re-allocations threats, focusing largely on their inability to cope. Using the case study of the urban street vendors in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, this paper suggests that urban street vendors are not just passive victims of evictions and re-allocations but also utilize various capabilities to cope with this threat. The paper examines evictions and re-allocations threat among urban street vendors in Dar es Salaam Tanzania, to determine the vendors’ capability to cope with the threat and recommend factors for supporting the vendors to cope more competently. Based on the multilayered social resilience framework, a qualitative approach was utilized and drew data on a sample of 50 respondents through in-depth interviews, focus group discussions (FGDs), observations, and a review of secondary data. Findings indicated that on the one hand, the vendors managed to develop reactive and less proactive capacities of coping with the evictions and re-allocations threat mainly based on the individual, household, community level, and to a lesser degree, national and international levels. On the other hand, vendors’ coping capacities were impeded by their lack of financial ability, less supportive government structures and politics, lack of union among the vendors, and business skills. These factors should be considered in supporting the vendors to more competently cope with the threat. These findings provide insights on alternative ways of understanding and alleviating the negative consequences of evictions and re-allocations of the urban street vendors in Dar es Salaam and other cities in Tanzania.


case study, evictions, re-allocation, street vendors, coping strategies, resilience, Dar es Salaam

Author Bio(s)

Kirumirah Mubarack Hamidu is an assistant lecturer in Development Studies and Entrepreneurship at the College of Business Education in Tanzania. He has authored a number of research articles in areas of entrepreneurship and informal sector in the urban context. Please direct correspondence to babamuba@gmail.com.

Dr. Emmanuel January Munishi is a senior lecturer in Development Studies at the College of Business Education in Tanzania. He has published widely in areas of migration, crime, and informality. Please direct correspondence to e.munishi78@gmail.com.

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