Trends in flood events and their relationship to extreme rainfall in an urban area of Sahelian West Africa: The case study of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

Urban areas in Sahelian West Africa are highly vulnerable to extreme hydro‐meteorological events. In recent years, Burkina Faso has experienced several natural disasters with floods being the most frequent. This study investigates flood trends in Ouagadougou and their relationship to extreme rainfall events. Fourteen rainfall indices were analysed to characterise the frequency and intensity of extreme rainfall. A frequency analysis of annual maximum daily rainfall series was performed using three statistical distributions. The results showed that few of the rainfall indices have significant trends at 5% level over the period 1961–2015. The generalised extreme value distribution satisfactorily fit the time‐series of annual maximum daily rainfall. An analysis of media flood reports revealed that Burkina Faso experienced approximately three flood events per year throughout the period 1986–2016. In the 2000s, the number of flood events increased to five per year. Most flood events are caused by rainfall events with return periods of less than or equal to 5 years. The results indicated that the significant increase in flood risk in Ouagadougou is not only related to heavy rainfall but also due to human and environmental factors.

The journal article can be found here.