African Journal of Water Conservation and Sustainability

African Journal of Water Conservation and Sustainability ISSN: 2375-0936 Vol. 8 (3), pp. 001-014, March, 2020. © International Scholars Journals

Full Length Research Paper

Urban sprawl development and flooding at Yeumbeul suburb (Dakar-Senegal)

Cheikh Mbow1, 2*, Aminata Diop2, Amadou Tahirou Diaw1and Cheikh Ibrahima Niang2

1Laboratoire d’Enseignement et de Recherche en Géomatique (LERG) Ecole Supérieure Polytechnique (ESP), Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar- Senegal. BP 25275 Dakar-Fann.

2Institut des Sciences de l’Environnement (ISE), Faculté des Sciences et Techniques (FST), Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar-Senegal. BP 5005 Dakar-Fann.

Accepted 28 March, 2020


Rapid development of urban centers in Africa is becoming a serious challenge for the coming decades with a wide range of foreseen social, economical and environmental implications. With the natural growth of the population, urban demography has been boosted by rural exodus triggered by serious droughts and increasing rural poverty. With the small resources available for an adequate urban management and the lack of efficient urban policy, Dakar capital of Senegal is characterized by an out of control urbanization process. Among the many impacts noted, flooding has appeared recently as a major threat for poor population leaving in the suburbs of Dakar. This study carried out at the outskirts of the town, in Yeumbeul District (17°24’ North, 14°46’ West), tries from rainfall variability, Digital Terrain Model and land cover change analysis since 1954 to track the interactions between natural and human causes of flooding occurring regularly since 1989. This integrated approach shows that the flooding process is not a mere climate variability related issue, it is tightly bound with poor urban management and occupation of irregular, unsuited land devoted to natural process. Satisfaction of housing needs was, for most poor rural dwellers, only possible through informal land markets, forcing them to settle in cheap yet risky lands. The recent extreme rainfall events reveal that most of these urban sprawls are located in flood prone areas. Environmental impacts of these flooded settlements have been examined. Serious flooding of 2005 has been a great momentum for the State and several other stakeholders to initiate various strategies that are discussed in this paper.

Key words: Flooding, rural migration, irregular settlements, Dakar, Senegal.