Assessing floods and droughts in the Mékrou River basin (West Africa): a combined household survey and climatic trends analysis approach
The assessment of natural hazards such as floods and droughts is a complex issue that demands integrated approaches and high-quality data. Especially in African developing countries, where information is limited, the assessment of floods and droughts, though an overarching issue that influences economic and social development, is even more challenging. This paper presents an integrated approach to assessing crucial aspects of floods and droughts in the transboundary Mékrou River basin (a portion of the Niger River basin in West Africa), combining climatic trends analysis and the findings of a household survey. The multivariable trend analysis estimates, at the biophysical level, the climate variability and the occurrence of floods and droughts. These results are coupled with an analysis of household survey data that reveals the behaviour and opinions of local residents regarding the observed climate variability and occurrence of flood and drought events, household mitigation measures, and the impacts of floods and droughts. Based on survey data analysis, the paper provides a per-household cost estimation of floods and droughts that occurred over a 2-year period (2014–2015). Furthermore, two econometric models are set up to identify the factors that influence the costs of floods and droughts to impacted households.