Flooding in Dakar suburbs: towards adaptation by improving buildings, infrastructure and local governance

Managing flooding is one of the major challenges Africa faces in regard to climate change. Frantic urbanization, out of control urban sprawl and destitute populations forced to live on marginal land have led to settlements in flood-prone areas in several of the world's large metropolises. Dakar is no exception.

The purpose of this research project is to contribute to reducing the impact of flooding on poor urban households and communities in Dakar's suburbs by improving their adaptation strategies. It aims to enhance knowledge about how flooding affects these populations' vulnerabilities and assets. The various assets that households and communities can use to handle flooding are financial (savings, access to credit), human (work, health, education and other skills), natural (land, water resources, clean and safe environment), physical (housing, livestock, economic and social infrastructure like education and health facilities, production equipment like machines, tools and vehicles), political (participation) and social (social assistance mechanisms and information). The more depleted these assets, the more vulnerable the households and communities.

Studies on vulnerabilities and assets will be conducted in four interrelated phases: long-term resilience, limiting damage pre-disaster, immediate post-disaster measures, and reconstruction. For each phase, the responses to flooding based on the households, communities and local authorities' assets will be identified and analyzed. The research project will involve: (i) conducting participatory investigations on vulnerabilities, assets, and the institutional and political context; (ii) surveying buildings and infrastructure; (iii) organizing local consultations to share, validate and formulate a local flooding adaptation plan; and (iv) identifying and implementing pilot demonstration initiatives, particularly on community buildings and infrastructure. The results will help develop adaptation reinforcement strategies for community buildings and infrastructure, as well as preventive measures to slow the settlement of flood-prone areas by urban development.

Project ID


Project status


Start Date

Sunday, July 1, 2012

End Date

Monday, June 30, 2014


24 months

IDRC Officer

Braun, Heidi

Total funding

CA$ 332,600


Senegal, North of Sahara, South of Sahara


Climate Change

Project Leader

Oumar Cissé


Institut africain de gestion urbaine

Institution Country


Institution Website