BENIN : City Climate Change Adaptation Program


As many African countries, Benin faces many challenges such as poverty reduction and the will to encourage sustainable economic growth. By this time, climate change is a major challenge, since its impacts only increase vulnerabilities and the intensity of phenomena, especially in town. Thereby, Benin is increasingly subject to seasonal changes resulting in longer periods of drought and more intense rainy seasons, that have firstly an impact on agriculture but are also likely to cause dramatic flooding in urban areas.

At the same time, Benin is also facing significant demographic and urban growth. The latter is often uncontrolled and is increasingly occurring in high-risk areas, such as flood zones. By 2018, half of Benin's population will live in town. Thus, on the one hand it is essential to provide technical solutions for adapting the urban territory and reducing the vulnerability of the populations living there and on the other hand, to promote sustainable urban planning that takes into account long-term climate risks. Four cities were selected to benefit from the program: Bohicon, Comè, Cotonou and Sèmè-Podji.

The program, worth €50 million, involves planning the urbanization of the four cities mentioned above, taking into account the existing and future impacts of climate change. More specifically, the project aims to:

  • To equip cities with tools (strategic planning documents and development of drainage and opening up infrastructures) enabling them to adapt to these consequences, which have harmful effects on many socio-economic sectors, in particular fisheries, agriculture and industry.
  • Accompany a change of mentality to protect sensitive and flood-prone areas and support activities that respect the nature of these areas: agriculture, fishing, green and natural areas.
  • Strengthen the capacities of local and national actors responsible for sustainable urban development, in order to enable urban territories vulnerable to climatic uncertainties to improve their resilience.

The mission entrusted to Groupe Huit, SCE and Sudd consulting involves supporting the project management (Ministry of Life Framework and Sustainable Development) and AFD in the preparation and the precise definition of the Program, which will take place over 6 years. The feasibility study includes (i) an investment program for infrastructure-intensive and soft projects (so-called change support management), (ii) a capacity-building program at several levels (local and national), (iii) a precise definition of the planning documents to be drawn up, and (iv) all aspects related to the implementation of the program (financing, timing, institutional set-up, monitoring and evaluation framework, etc.).

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