Urban flooding, drought, and water scarcity are major climate change hazards affecting African cities like Addis Ababa and Dar es Salaam. A Danish research team from the University of Copenhagen is designing and testing the same concept used to manage stormwater in Copenhagen in these African cities.
The basic idea is to delay and infiltrate stormwater runoff locally in the city, rather than discharging the water through sewer systems. In Denmark, such Landscape-based Stormwater Management (LSM) provides an alternative to sewer system enlargement in response to increased precipitation and has been coupled with revitalization of existing cities.
In cities like Addis Ababa and Dar es Salaam that lack basic sewer systems, the concept of LSM can be seen as a soft infrastructure solution that can provide some of the same services. At the same time, it can reduce the risk of flooding, improve the urban water supply, and support local livelihood activities, if appropriately planned and implemented. LSM is an option to be appraised for mitigating the negative effects of climate change and at the same time providing opportunities for sustainable urban development.