Coupled with poor urban development, the increasing urban population of many Sub-Saharan African countries is subject to recurrent severe flooding episodes. In response to these flood events, while the focus is often put on slums and precarious urban settings, the social implications of these floods affect a variety of social classes. Presenting a case study of Cocody, a district of Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, known to have the country’s highest number of flood-impacted people, this paper evaluates the social vulnerability of urban Côte d’Ivoire to flooding using the MOVE framework. The MOVE framework (Method for the Improvement of Vulnerability Assessment in Europe) has successfully been used in European contexts to assess social vulnerability of urban areas to geo-environmental disasters such floods. It helped assess the major factors involved in the social vulnerability to urban flooding and to have a good appreciation of the spatial distribution of areas that are vulnerable to urban flood. By taking this framework to the local context, relevant indicators were developed and GIS applications were used to assess spatially the relative social vulnerability of Cocody sub-districts to urban flooding. The results revealed that many sub-districts of Cocody are highly vulnerable to urban floods. Exposure and susceptibility are components that are found to have high influence on vulnerability to flood hazard in the district of Cocody. Their respective indicators need to be addressed properly in order to increase residents’ resilience to urban flooding. The MOVE theoretical framework can be applied in Africa by contextualizing the vulnerability by using local indicators.
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