Blandine Ouikotan

PhD fellow

Biography

Blandine Ouikotan is a Civil Engineer, graduated from Water Supply and Environmental Sanitation Programme at the KN University of Science and Technology of Kumasi, Ghana. She had also the Postgraduate diploma (DEA in French) from the doctoral school of Energy and Environment of University of Abomey-Calavi, Benin.

For more than fifteen years, she has been working in the public administration (National Direction of Water and National Direction of Public Works) or in private companies or NGO as civil engineer or specialist of water and sanitation.

She applied for a 4 years educational leave to complete a PhD program at IHE Delft in order to gain more knowledge on how to deal with recurrent water related issue especially flooding in her home country.

Topic

Flood modelling in Cotonou (as coastal) city: hydraulic and hydrology aspects.

Other information

With a population of about one million, Cotonou is the most urbanized city and the economic capital of Benin. It is the political and business centre of the country. Like most of the coastal cities in West Africa, Cotonou has been facing frequent floods since some decades. In addition, the ongoing urban development in flood-prone areas, the parcelling of wetlands and the lack of long term planning of prevention measures are increasing this risk.

According to the Centre for Research in Epidemiology Disasters (CRED), Benin was among the top ten countries in the world hit by floods with respect to the percentage of victims with 9.3% of the total population been affected and the estimated economical damage of about US $ 100 Mi. After this 2010 flood event, many projects relevant to flood risk reduction were designed and are currently being executed in Benin. The projects are rather isolated, all covering a limited number of aspects related to flooding and separately do not consider the complex flooding issues in an integrated manner. This research proposes to connect the running projects to address holistically the Cotonou flooding issues.

The research aims at developing a model application for flood risk assessment that supports the framework for the choice of mitigation and adaptation measures.

The model application and the framework for selection of flood risk reduction measures will support decision making for long term planning under different scenarios of climate change, urban growth, land use change and sea level rise.

 

The methodology concerns integrated flood risk assessment and selection of measures for flood risk reduction in a coastal urban area using mainly open sources tools. For each flood risk, social, economic and environmental impacts will be assessed for a set of flood events scenarios. The flood events scenarios will be determined by sea level rise, urbanisation and rainfall pattern change. For each result of flood risk, mitigation and adaptation measures will be identified and their benefits (positive impacts on flood risk) will be assessed based on a multi-criteria (cost, acceptability by communities, benefits for ecological preservation, etc.) selection approach.  For the selection of the criteria, decision makers and stakeholders will be involved.

 

The step by step framework developed for the selection of mitigation and adaptation measures in Cotonou is also to be sufficiently generic so it can be applied to other coastal cities in West Africa where physical features and current flood management strategies are similar.