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Risk factors of becoming a disaster victim. The flood of September 1st, 2009, in Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso)


Year published: 2019
Categories: Journal Article
URL Link: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.habitatint.2019.03.005

Author / Authors:

  • Stéphanie Dos Santos
  • Jean-Paul Peumi
  • Abdramane Soura


In light of the expected growing natural hazards and the continued growth of urban populations, there is concern that the vulnerability of a significant portion of the urban African population will increase. The objective of the paper is to analyze factors associated with the status of “disaster victim” in Ouagadougou, the capital-city of Burkina Faso. On September 1st, 2009, this city experienced torrential rainfall leading to water runoffs and floods. Over 180,000 people were severely affected, about 41 people died and 33,172 houses completely destroyed. The data availability from the Ouagadougou Health and Demographic Surveillance System, especially characteristics of population dwellings before the flood, grant the opportunity to address the impact of this event among the different social groups. Modeling data with logistic regressions, the results reinforce the idea that the main cause of disaster is not hazards. Indeed, natural disaster amplify urban inequities given the role playing by variables related to extreme poverty (no sanitation, no electricity) as determinant factors. Discussion highlights how some households inhabitants make the reasoned choice of gradually reoccupying their plots, although aware of risks. In Sub-Saharan Africa, early warning system for floods should be seen as essential in urban settings.

Habitat International, Volume 86, 2019, Pages 81-90


  • Journal Article