Assessing resilience: Workshop with communities from flood-afflicted areas

The first collaborative workshop was held with residents from two flooded communities, Bene Baraque and Medina Fass Mbao. While sharing their experiences with flooding, the workshop participants emphasized a range of different aspects that supported them in dealing with flooding. Their input will flow directly into the development of the framework for measuring resilience at the project level.

Assessing resilience with community

The workshop asked the participants about the effects of the flooding on their lives, focusing in particular on the strategies that make people more or less resilient to flooding.

Four representatives from each community, representing women, youth and men, were invited to speak as experts of the flooding situation in their community. The participants were encouraged to tell stories about what happens before, during and after flooding in order to gather their experiences and opinions regarding the flooding, and to determine which support systems would best serve their needs.

New indicators for resilience

Besides money and support from the government in providing appropriate infrastructure and basic services, they put special emphasize on the significance of solidarity among the community. People who are part of a strong community (e.g. with a well-connected district representative) or who are member of a community organisation, feel more resilient than those who are not.

Another point that has been described by the participants as important aspect of resilience is the own experience they have with flooding as well as the access to education, information and know how about how to respond to flooding. Moreover, young people are said to play a crucial role in strengthening the family against the challenges of flooding.