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Floodplain Settlement Dynamics in the Maouri Dallol at Guéchémé, Niger: A Multidisciplinary Approach

Galligari A., Tonolo F.G., Massazza G.
Published in: Sustainability 2020, 12, 5632
Date: July 13, 2020


In Sahelian Africa, rural centers have been hit by catastrophic floods for many years. In order to prevent the impact of flooding, the flood-prone areas and the settlement dynamics within them must be identified. The aim of this study is to ascertain the floodplain settlement dynamics in the Maouri valley (135 km2) in the municipality of Guéchémé, Niger. Through hydraulic modeling, the analysis identified the flood-prone areas according to three return periods. The dynamics of the settlements in these areas between 2009 and 2019 were identified through the photointerpretation of high-resolution satellite images and compared with those in the adjacent non-flood-prone areas. Spatial planning was applied to extract the main dynamics. The synergic application of these disciplines in a rural context represents a novelty in the research field. Since 2009, the results have shown a 52% increase of the built-up area and a 12% increase in the number of buildings, though the increase was higher in the flood-prone areas. The factors that transform floods into catastrophes were identified through perceptions gathered from the local communities. Three dynamics of the expansion and consolidation of buildings were observed. Specific flood risk prevention and preparation actions are proposed for each type of dynamic.