FCFA’s work in Burkina Faso focused on AMMA-2050’s pilot study to support flood-resilient planning in the country’s capital, Ouagadougou. AMMA-2050 combined future climate and land use change projections to inform hydrological models and the mapping of flood risks to inform national and city-level decision-makers. AMMA-2050 aimed to improve understanding of the effects of climate change on the West African Monsoon in the coming decades, and help West African societies like Burkina Faso prepare and adapt.
Bringing together respective expertise from across disciplines and institutions, AMMA-2050 researchers identified climate metrics important in enabling decision-making to be informed by climate-related risks.
Across project partners and together with decision-makers, researchers reviewed important metrics for the region including:
Two researchers from each AMMA-2050 partner university in West Africa were invited to a week-long training on python coding. This equipped African researchers with key skills to produce in-country climate information that can support specific decision-making processes (see Climate Atlas) around climate change in Burkina Faso. Those trained have already contributed to informing national infrastructural and adaptation planning, and have sought to share the technical expertise acquired through the project more widely within their respective institutions.
The increasing severity of recent floods in Ouagadougou, particularly in 2009, has become a growing concern for stakeholders in the City. Stakeholders have been interested in understanding how storms and flooding are being impacted by climate change in Burkina Faso and rapid unplanned urbanisation and the future flood risks expected for the City.
AMMA-2050 brought together an international multi-disciplinary team of researchers to analyse historical trends of climate and flooding. The work developed fundamental new understanding of how climate change in Burkina Faso is already driving more frequent intense Sahelian storms, and highlighted linkages to increasing occurrence of floods in Ouagadougou.
Socio-economic surveys also furthered understanding of the climate-related risks facing people living in flood-prone areas, as well as their responses to floods. A detailed case-study on the 2009 flood event provided a cross-disciplinary platform for considering climate change impacts in Ouagadougou and communicating science for decision-makers’ needs.
To further the understanding of future flood risks, AMMA-2050 developed unique modelling chain methodologies to meet decision-maker needs that combined state-of-the-art regional climate projections capable of representing intense storms, with land-use change projections, to inform detailed flood modelling. In collaboration with the RainCell project, AMMA-2050 was able to use rainfall and flow data as inputs to hydrological framework modelling to simulate flooding in Ouagadougou.
To represent the return period for intense rainfall events, AMMA-2050 also developed Intensity-Duration-Frequency (IDF) Curves to inform infrastructural planning in the city. AMMA-2050 convened a meeting in 2018 with national and city decision-makers to discuss and further develop the range of products being produced within the project and explore the most accessible formats and approaches to communicate this information to guide planning towards climate resilience in Burkina Faso.
AMMA-2050 has also undertaken research on the impacts of climate change in Burkina Faso on urban water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), with surveys across flood-prone areas to understand how people respond to and are impacted by flooding and investigate the evidence that the combination of poor drainage and sanitation has on the health of affected populations. This complementary research has shown that people living in flood-prone areas develop forms of resilience that range from backfilling the yard, to diking areas around gates that create a barrier against flooding of dwellings, to digging trenches for the evacuation of rainwater.
Along with producing high quality climate science, AMMA-2050 engagement was also aimed at improving the technical and engagement capacities of researchers to produce decision-relevant climate information. This included strengthening the ability of African researchers to deliver climate metrics using tools that can directly support flood planning in Ouagadougou.
The approach to research taken by AMMA-2050 resulted in researchers having strengthened capacity to:
Over the course of the project, AMMA-2050 researchers have facilitated a series of workshops and discussions with mayors and national decision-makers from across a range of ministries. Stakeholder engagements have encompassed a joint forum with the BRACED Zaman Lebidi project on how climate information can support local government decision-making, a meeting with mayors, city and national technical advisors, and a joint workshop with WASCAL on operationalising the links between researchers and policymakers in West Africa.
Continued training to support co-production and uptake of co-developed outputs is proposed in 2020- 2021, over the course of the AMMA-2050 project extension.
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