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Flooding in urban Senegal

The yearly flooding in urban Senegal following the wet season causes major damage to public and private infrastructure and poses a considerable health risk to urban populations, especially the poorest and most vulnerable members of the community. During flooding, a number of connected problems combine to exacerbate the situation in urban communities. Poor or inexistent drainage means that rainwater floods whole neighbourhoods, paralysing transport, causing immense material damage and posing considerable health and safety risks due to stagnation and contamination.


Responses to flooding

Many flood-affected communities in urban Senegal are distinguished by the high level of community action and self-organisation in the face of the challenges posed by the annual floodwaters. Meanwhile the Senegalese government has also implemented a number of national flood response plans, which the project seeks to strengthen and expand. There is a strong partnership between the key stakeholders who are committed to transforming and improving the current situation in flood-afflicted communities.
The following videos were produced by Mor Talla Nang during the community workshop on assessing resilience with representatives from Bene Baraque and Medina Fass Mbao. They provide insight into the community’s analysis of the problem and coping strategies.

Boury Thioye Diop

Resident from Bene Baraque
Representative of women’s network

As the representative of a large women’s network and a resident of Bene Baraque Boury Thioye Diop has a lot to say about the hardships suffered by the people who live with the floods every day.

She speaks about the health risks and the severe social issues caused by the flooding, especially those experienced by women.
Boury Thioye Diop also describes how solidarity between people helps to develop coping strategies and about how conflicts hinder attempts at long-term solutions.

Robert Modou Fall

Delegate of the quartier Medina Fass Mbao, city Pikine

As the local government representative of the district Medina Fass Mbao, Robert Modou Fall understands the conflicts that arise between households regarding the question of how to deal with flooding.
He describes the attempts that have been made in Medina Fass Mbao to evacuate floodwater and why they have failed in the past, even with help of firefighters.

In response to these problems, the flood committee “Comité de Lutte contre les Inondations”, led by Mr. Fall, was founded in order to find long-term solutions for the flooding issue.

Moussa N’diaye

Quartier chef of Medina Fass Mbao
Municipal Advisor for the President of the Environment Commission in Mbao.

In his roles as Chef du Quartier and Municipal Advisor, Moussa N’diaye has been involved in the flood management process since 1993.

He describes how, in the past, an urban management plan was developed together with the community in order to map the transport, water and electricity networks in the area, although they were still unable to cope with the sudden onset of the floods.

The community has recently re-mobilised in the face of the flooding and has made a new action plan. An organisation has been founded to put this plan into action.

Read more about the context, approach and vision behind the project.