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  • Writer's pictureCarter Darper

Tackling Coastal Flooding in Monrovia Slums

As urban populations grow and their vulnerability increases, managing urban growth in a way that fosters cities’ resilience to natural hazards and the impacts of climate change becomes an ever-greater challenge that requires detailed, up-to-date geospatial data of the built environment. The World Bank, through its Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) and Open Data for Resilience Initiative (OpenDRI), initiated the Open Cities Africa project across nine (9) African cities to tackle climate change issues affecting communities within these cities. In Liberia, the project is being implemented by Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team, iLab Liberia and OSM Liberia.

Map of zone 300
Open Cities target communities

Addressing this challenge requires innovative, open, and dynamic data collection and mapping processes that support the management of urban growth and disaster risk to understand the current situation and issues faced by unplanned settlements. Data collected from Clara Town and Doe Community as our chosen areas of interest (AOI) for the Monrovia project, where we will assess disaster risk vulnerabilities these communities face and use this mapped data to inform decision making and policies that address these risks and challenges.

Informed by the engagements of our stakeholders and local leadership, the Open Cities Monrovia Project developed a data model that is being used for field data collection. This was followed by series of training for our field mappers, drain team and data cleaners (9 women and 12 men) who, in August, receiving training OSM tools that include OpenStreetMap, OSM Task Manager, JOSM, POSM, to Field Data Collection using ODK, OMK, and Mapillary.📷

Stakeholders meeting at the community level

Since the project’s inception, 21 people have been trained in the use of mapping tools and techniques, many of the youth and leaders from the target communities. During field mapping activities, 2,772 buildings, 72 water points, 81 solid waste points, 60 economic activities points, 41 schools, and education facilities, 30 health facilities, 13 financial facilities, 85 drain lines, 42 drain points, and 145 flood history points have been mapped. Data cleaning is ongoing, with all OpenStreetMap (OSM) open data being uploaded by our team in Monrovia.

During the mapping process, our target communities were receptive to our activities and have been increasingly requesting interventions that can make their communities more resilient to natural disasters. Mapping activities will be extended to two adjacent communities in November. Going forward, mapped data will be used to create map products for these communities, and for disaster management and response stakeholders in government and civil society.

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