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Governance and community based responses to floods in poor peri-urban areas – the case of disaster risk management and climate change adaptation in Pikine, Dakar.

The dissertation examines how the governance for floods is configured at the national and municipal scales, in a context of weak state capacity. The dissertation addresses how urban flood management, community responses and resulting public services are produced, as well as the implications thereof. It is investigated how floods have been managed in urban Senegal during the last fifteen years and examines why it has not led to the results expected by the population, state institutions and the donor community. It is found that the significant support allocated to flood management has created a political and personal appropriation of flood management processes at the national level. This has resulted in a fragmented institutional framework with overlapping institutions, duplicate mechanisms and an ongoing ‘negotiation’ of competencies and interpretation of mandates, which have limited the impact of flood management in Senegal. In spite of the lack of achievement in the domain of flood management, it is found that weak state capacity does not mean that the urban poor are simply passive victims of climate change, or that collective services and interventions relative to flood management are inexistent or ungoverned. Instead, the ability to respond to floods is to a large extent formed outside the realm of the state and is maintained through a set of complex negotiation processes among various actors involved in diverse governance modes, found inside and outside the formal state bureaucracy and the official policies and plans in Senegal. The findings also reveal that community responses may not, by themselves, sufficiently compensate for the lack of basic services and infrastructure that is forcing the urban poor to cope with disproportionate levels of risk.
Author: Schaer, Caroline
Language: English
Pubished By: UNEP DTU Partnership
Pubished date: June 2015

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