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Open AccessArticle

Community and Impact Based Early Warning System for Flood Risk Preparedness: The Experience of the Sirba River in Niger

Institute of BioEconomy–National Research Council (IBE-CNR), 50019 Sesto Fiorentino (FI), Italy
Interuniversity Department of Regional and Urban Studies and Planning (DIST), Politecnico and University of Turin, 10125 Turin, Italy
Department of Environment, Land and Infrastructure Engineering (DIATI), Politecnico of Turin, 10129 Turin, Italy
Hydrology Directorate (DH), Ministry of Hydraulics and Sanitation, Niamey BP 257, Niger
National Directorate of Meteorology (DMN), Ministry of Transports, Niamey BP 218, Niger
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(5), 1802;
Received: 7 February 2020 / Revised: 24 February 2020 / Accepted: 26 February 2020 / Published: 28 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Risk-Informed Sustainable Development in the Rural Tropics)
Floods have recently become a major hazard in West Africa (WA) in terms of both their magnitude and frequency. They affect livelihoods, infrastructure and production systems, hence impacting on Sustainable Development (SD). Early Warning Systems (EWS) for floods that properly address all four EWS components, while also being community and impact-based, do not yet exist in WA. Existing systems address only the main rivers, are conceived in a top-down manner and are hazard-centered. This study on the Sirba river in Niger aims to demonstrate that an operational community and impact-based EWS for floods can be set up by leveraging the existing tools, local stakeholders and knowledge. The main finding of the study is that bridging the gap between top-down and bottom-up approaches is possible by directly connecting the available technical capabilities with the local level through a participatory approach. This allows the beneficiaries to define the rules that will develop the whole system, strengthening their ability to understand the information and take action. Moreover, the integration of hydrological forecasts and observations with the community monitoring and preparedness system provides a lead time suitable for operational decision-making at national and local levels. The study points out the need for the commitment of governments to the transboundary sharing of flood information for EWS and SD. View Full-Text
Keywords: early warning; flood risk; hydrology; local communities; Niger river basin; rural development; Sahel early warning; flood risk; hydrology; local communities; Niger river basin; rural development; Sahel
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    Doi: 10.5281/zenodo.3653934
    Description: Cartographic Atlas of flood-prone areas over the 108 km of the Nigerien reach of the Sirba River. Maps are compiled at large (1: 100’000) and detailed (1: 20’000) scales. The most exposed riverine villages of Tallé, Garbey Kourou, Larba Birno, Larba Toulombo, Guidare, Toure, Boulkagou and Bossey Bangou are also represented at greater detail (1: 5’000).
MDPI and ACS Style

Tarchiani, V.; Massazza, G.; Rosso, M.; Tiepolo, M.; Pezzoli, A.; Housseini Ibrahim, M.; Katiellou, G.L.; Tamagnone, P.; De Filippis, T.; Rocchi, L.; Marchi, V.; Rapisardi, E. Community and Impact Based Early Warning System for Flood Risk Preparedness: The Experience of the Sirba River in Niger. Sustainability 2020, 12, 1802.

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