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Flood control in Dakar’s informal settlements

Govt. France
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Since 2005, flooding has become a recurring problem in Dakar during the rainy season, especially in the Pikine Irrégulier Sud neighborhood, where poverty and unsanitary conditions give cause for concern and hold back the significant economic development potential of this community. This multi-component project aims to reduce this vulnerability

Extreme vulnerability exacerbated by climate change

The regular flooding experienced by Dakar’s outlying neighborhoods poses a problem of extreme vulnerability for the territory, which is for the moment faced with a “normal” hazard. This is expected to increase with climate change and the greater frequency of regular rainy periods.

Priority for the Senegalese Government

The Government of Senegal has made flood control one of its priorities. This is reflected in the Emerging Senegal Plan and operationally set out in the Ten-Year Flood Control Program adopted in 2012.

The climate change resilience of Dakar and its region, which is located in a flood-prone area, is also essential for the country. The World Bank currently estimates that the value of flood-vulnerable economic assets in the Dakar region alone stands at EUR 40bn, i.e. almost double the country’s GDP.

Pikine Irrégulier Sud, an informal housing settlement in the municipality of Pikine, is particularly flood-prone, especially since the construction of the highway linking Dakar to Diamniadio, which crosses the area. It has over 300,000 residents, i.e. 10% of the population of the Greater Dakar region. Most of them live below the poverty line and benefit from few public facilities. The project aims to reduce the vulnerability of these communities by protecting them against the flooding which affects them every year.

Objective: 200,000 people protected from flooding

The project aims to promote balanced development in Senegal. Consequently, the project’s specific objective is to develop the territory of Pikine Irrégulier Sud (PIS) in order to reduce its vulnerability to the flooding and unsanitary stagnant water which local communities suffer from.

The flood-prone area covers 30% of the area of Pikine Irrégulier Sud. The project aims to reduce the flood-prone area to 7% of the area of PIS, i.e. 200,000 people protected from flooding.

This objective will be achieved via the project’s four components:

  • Stormwater drainage infrastructure: system of retention basins and gravity-fed water collection for stormwater drainage.

  • Wastewater treatment: creation of the wastewater collection networks required to protect drainage infrastructure against the infiltration of wastewater. These networks will be connected to the Hann Bay treatment system which is currently being developed.

  • Resettlement Action Plan: the aim is to compensate and rehouse people living in the most vulnerable areas.

  • Capacity building for Senegal’s National Sanitation Office (ONAS) and the provision of information and awareness-raising services for the communities of Pikine Irrégulier Sud.