Flood Hazard Scenarios of the Sirba River (Niger): Evaluation of the Hazard Thresholds and Flooding Areas

Massazza, G.; Tamagnone, P.; Wilcox, C.; Belcore, E.; Pezzoli, A.; Vischel, T.; Panthou, G.; Housseini Ibrahim, M.; Tiepolo, M.; Tarchiani, V.; Rosso, M.
Published in: Water 2019, 11, 1018
Date: May 16, 2019

In Sahelian countries, a vast number of people are still affected every year by flood despite the efforts to prevent or mitigate these catastrophic events. This phenomenon is exacerbated by the incessant population growth and the increase of extreme natural events. Hence, the development of flood management strategies such as flood hazard mapping and Early Warning Systems has become a crucial objective for the affected nations. This study presents a comprehensive hazard assessment of the Nigerien reach of the Sirba River, the main tributary Middle Niger River. Hazard thresholds were defined both on hydrological analysis and field effects, according to national guidelines. Non-stationary analyses were carried out to consider changes in the hydrological behaviour of the Sirba basin over time. Data from topographical land surveys and discharge gauges collected during the 2018 dry and wet seasons were used to implement the hydraulic numerical model of the analyzed reach. The use of the proposed hydraulic model allowed the delineation of flood hazard maps as well the calculation of the flood propagation time from the upstream hydrometric station and the validation of the rating curves of the two gauging sites. These significative outcomes will allow the implementation of the Early Warning System for the river flood hazard and risk reduction plans preparation for each settlement.