Adaptation Report

Flood resilience in the Greater Dakar Region

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The strategic importance of building flood resilience in the Greater Dakar Region

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  • Date of Publication May 2021
  • Authors Jessy Appavoo Valerie Brown

Floods have and will continue to constrain socio-economic development in Senegal and in the Greater Dakar region and entrench a greater share of the population into poverty. In the face of a rapidly changing climate, floods of increased intensity and frequency will deepen the vulnerability of the Dakarois population to future climate-related hazards and economic shocks (such as the one brought on by the Covid-19 crisis) and limit their ability to bounce back. The widespread lived experience of floods thus far cannot become the way of life. An integrated approach to urban planning is paramount for the City to effectively deliver on poverty reduction, service delivery and infrastructure development in the Greater Dakar region.

This report explores the importance of flood resilience in Dakar. It includes sections on: 

  • Climate change in Senegal
  • Cost of floods
  • Why flood management interventions are so important in Dakar
  • A multi-pronged approach to address floods
  • CFF’s work in Dakar 

Below are a few snap-shots from the report. 

A History of Floods

The following is a diagram from the report showing that following a series of major droughts in the country, Senegal, and in particular Dakar, faced several floods from 2005. With every rainy season in Senegal, comes a flood of varying scale (OCHA, 2013).

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The Cost of Flooding

It is estimated that floods – pluvial and fluvial – experienced in 2017 along the coast cost the Senegalese economy a total of $230 million which is equivalent to approximately 1.4% of its GDP. To put this in context, almost every year, there is about 1.4% of the economy that is wiped out. This leads to a larger share of people becoming further entrenched into poverty and climate vulnerability, thereby limiting their ability to bounce back from future climate shocks and stresses. To effectively address poverty reduction and climate resilience, addressing floods will have to be at the core of this work. Without an approach centred on improved urban planning whilst addressing floods, larger swathes of the population will be made more vulnerable to the impacts of a rapidly changing climate.

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Figure 4 from the CFF Report: Damage and losses recorded in the Greater Dakar region following the 2009 floods (Adapted from GFDRR, 2014)

Flood Management Interventions

The following figure show why flood management interventions can be so important in Dakar.

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The strategic importance of building flood resilience in the Greater Dakar Region

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