Current and future risks of urban and rural flooding in West Africa – An integrated analysis and eco-system-based solutions

Extreme precipitation and flooding is a major hazard in West Africa, particularly in the densely populated Guinea coastal zone. There are indications for an increase of flood loss and damage in recent decades. Climate change and population projections strongly suggest a continuation and potentially aggravation of this trend. The FURIFLOOD project aims to generate scientific knowledge regarding climate drivers of current and future extreme events related to flooding in West Africa and integrates this with case studies to better understand risks and impacts. Based on this, the project aims to derive and evaluate ecosystem-based strategies to reduce current and future risk to flooding using a participatory approach. This approach allows developing a regional expertise on flooding and extreme events to be implemented at the WASCAL Competence Center (CoC).

The FURIFLOOD project makes a substantial contribution to the Priority Theme (PRT) 2 “Risks and Vulnerability to Climate Extremes” of the WASCAL consortium through (i) the compilation of a comprehensive catalogue of past extreme precipitation events for ten WASCAL countries and the monitoring of loss and damage as basis for the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, (ii) a list of indicators to measure current and future flood risk in different regions of West Africa representing the most relevant meteorological, hydrological, hydraulic, infrastructural and socio-economical aspects, (iii) an assessment of future rainfall extremes and pseudo-global warming simulations to estimate the influence of changes in atmospheric dynamics (iv) a guidebook to plan and evaluate ecosystem-based approaches for flood risk reduction, and (v) a webGIS-based decisionmaker platform. Results and data of the FURIFLOOD project will be integrated into the WASCAL Data Infrastructure. FURIFLOOD involves two WASCAL alumnae and brings together an interdisciplinary team to tackle the important and urgent problem of West African flooding in an efficient, sustainable, innovative, and internationally visible way.

Project start: August 2021
Project end: July 2024
Project funding: Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)

Overall project management: Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Prof. Dr. Andreas Fink
Project partners: Technical University of Munich, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), University of Augsburg, United Nations University (UnU Bonn), University of Abomey-Calavi (Benin), Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (Ghana), University Cheikh anta Diop (Sénégal), University of Lomé (Togo), CURAT (Côte d’Ivoire)
Project management at the Chair of Hydrology and River Basin Management (TUM): Prof. Dr.-Ing. Markus Disse and M.Sc. Fabian Merk