Hydrology and Land Surface Studies
Flood fatalities in Africa: From diagnosis to mitigation
Article first published online: 18 NOV 2010
Copyright 2010 by the American Geophysical Union.
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume 37, Issue 22, November 2010
How to Cite
2010), Flood fatalities in Africa: From diagnosis to mitigation, Geophys. Res. Lett., 37, L22402, doi:10.1029/2010GL045467., , , , , and (
- Issue published online: 18 NOV 2010
- Article first published online: 18 NOV 2010
- Manuscript Accepted: 28 SEP 2010
- Manuscript Received: 10 SEP 2010
 Flood-related fatalities in Africa, as well as associated economic losses, have increased dramatically over the past half-century. There is a growing global concern about the need to identify the causes for such increased flood damages. To this end, we analyze a large, consistent and reliable dataset of floods in Africa. Identification of causes is not easy given the diverse economic settings, demographic distribution and hydro-climatic conditions of the African continent. On the other hand, many African river basins have a relatively low level of human disturbance and, therefore, provide a unique opportunity to analyze climatic effects on floods. We find that intensive and unplanned human settlements in flood-prone areas appears to be playing a major role in increasing flood risk. Timely and economically sustainable actions, such as the discouragement of human settlements in flood-prone areas and the introduction of early warning systems are, therefore, urgently needed.