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Addressing urban inequalities through community-based disaster risk reduction: an extended case study of responses to periodic flooding in the low-income suburbs of Dakar, Senegal.

Soltesova, K; (2017) Addressing urban inequalities through community-based disaster risk reduction: an extended case study of responses to periodic flooding in the low-income suburbs of Dakar, Senegal. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Negative impacts of flood risk constitute an urgent issue for the residents, policy makers and the international community shaping African cities. Disaster risk reduction is increasingly mainstreamed into urban policy, but there appears to be great variation in ways through which local communities are engaged in a meaningful discussion with local authorities and other formal and informal actors. This research aims to place urban community-based disaster risk reduction (CB-DRR) in a broader context, focussing on links between periodic hazard, extensive urban risk and change in urban social relations. The principal question addressed in this research was: how do social relations evolve in the context of extensive urban disaster risk? A grounded theory approach and situational analysis was applied in a case study of the past decade of community interventions in Pikine, Dakar’s low-income suburbs, which suffer from recurrent seasonal flooding and permanent waterlogging. The first half of the thesis addresses impacts of periodic disasters and extensive risk on life in low income urban neighbourhoods and ways in which CB-DRR evolves with periodic disasters and extensive risk. The principal finding is that extensive risk drives social fragility and physical uncertainty. Community engagement is motivated by a collective consciousness of a need to avert a social deterioration in water-affected neighbourhoods. The second half of the thesis elaborates on links between CB-DRR and broader urban development pressures. Community actors construct opportunity within a complex institutional environment where city-level urban development policy and practice shape risk at neighbourhood level. Examples of three major state-led infrastructure projects are analysed in relation to the conditions they create for community initiatives to progress or be stalled. I show that over the past four decades, a distinct urban culture and an institutional environment have been created in Senegal which enable youth organisations to assume leadership in CB-DRR.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Addressing urban inequalities through community-based disaster risk reduction: an extended case study of responses to periodic flooding in the low-income suburbs of Dakar, Senegal.
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Civil, Environ and Geomatic Eng
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1572254
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