Researchers study floods and transboundary river catchment in Togo and Benin

  • 2019•08•09     Togo & Benin

    © UNU-EHS / Yvonne Walz

    The transboundary catchment of the Mono River in Togo and Benin is experiencing frequent and severe flooding. Communities living along the river bank are at risk of the destructive violence of floods, mainly caused by heavy rainfall events. This can have devastating consequences on their lives and livelihoods, properties, infrastructure, and the environment.

    UNU-EHS experts recently completed a first field mission to the project site where they learned about impacts of flooding in local communities, how communities and relevant stakeholders react in the case of flooding. The project team discussed with relevant stakeholders in Togo and Benin how the CLIMAFRI project can complement existing efforts in the region to shift from mainly reacting to floods to making more proactive and consolidated efforts to reduce flood risk in the region.

    “We are very excited about the start of this project” says Dr. Yvonne Walz, project manager of CLIMAFRI. “Both countries are fully committed to jointly develop solutions to reduce current flood risk and adapt to future flood risks under scenarios of climate change. We look forward to contributing the scientific basis for this. Four research departments at UNU-EHS are involved in CLIMAFRI, which will allow us to explore topics ranging from understanding current and future flood risk, opportunities for insurance-based solutions for transfer of residual risk to capacity building based on a training of trainers toolkit.”

    The key challenges for adaptation to the impacts of climate change in the region are a lack of data and information on current and future flood hazards and risks, and a lack of an institution to actively manage the transboundary water resources in a sustainable way using consolidated efforts in the catchment.

    In 2014, the Ministers of Togo and Benin established the Mono River Basin Authority (MBA) to address key challenges such as transboundary flood risk management, pollution prevention, biodiversity conservation and equitable distribution of water resources for fishermen, livestock and farmers. The establishment of the MBA was an important and encouraging step towards integrated water resource management in the transboundary Mono River basin.
    The CLIMAFRI project seeks to address the data and information gap and to support the Mono River Basin Authority with science-based information for decision making to reduce the negative impacts of flood. The project will also generate tools and integrate innovative technologies at the target authority in the Lower Mono River Basin in close collaboration with African partners and relevant stakeholders in the region.

    To learn more, please visit here.