Flood Assessment for Risk-Informed Planning along the Sirba River, Niger

Tiepolo, M.; Rosso, M.; Massazza, G.; Belcore, E.; Issa, S.; Braccio, S.
Published in: Sustainability 2019, 11, 4003
Date: July 24, 2019

South of the Sahara, flood vulnerability and risk assessments at local level rarely identify the exposed areas according to the probability of flooding or the actions in place, or localize the exposed items. They are, therefore, of little use for local development, risk prevention, and contingency planning. The aim of this article is to assess the flood risk, providing useful information for local planning and an assessment methodology useful for other case studies. As a result, the first step involves identifying the information required by the local plans most used south of the Sahara. Four rural communities in Niger, frequently flooded by the Sirba River, are then considered. The risk is the product of the probability of a flood multiplied by the potential damage. Local knowledge and knowledge derived from a hydraulic numerical model, digital terrain model, very high resolution multispectral orthoimages, and daily precipitation are used. The assessment identifies the probability of fluvial and pluvial flooding, the exposed areas, the position, quantity, type, replacement value of exposed items, and the risk level according to three flooding scenarios. Fifteen actions are suggested to reduce the risk and to turn adversity into opportunity.