Stabilizing a flood-prone riverbank

Community-Responsive Adaptation to Flooding

Gabion construction

Community meeting for new physical intervention

Construction of drainage

Stabilizing a flood-prone riverbank

Community-Responsive Adaptation to Flooding

Community-Responsive Adaptation to Flooding

Building on the success of the KPSP network, KDI is co-designing, building and evaluating a series of public space-based flooding adaptation projects in partnership with slum residents, local government, and university partners. The interventions will provide evidence of the delivery, costs and impacts of flood adaptations that integrate community input.


Andolo village, where the first physical intervention is taking place, borders the flood-prone Ngong River

Flooding constitutes one of the biggest challenges to rapidly-urbanizing cities today.

Community-level approaches are often more about "coping" with flood risk than adapting to it or mitigating it, while government-led initiatives are of mixed success and can even increase risk. Virtually no examples of successful community-government collaboration, combining infrastructure and services, exist. This research tests our theory that public space projects like KPSP are a viable climate adaptation to flooding that bridges this gap.


Community design meeting at Andolo

KDI is partnering with residents, community organizations and government partners to co-design and implement a series of “community-responsive adaptation” interventions at high-exposure sites in Nairobi.

The impacts on damages, health, welfare, rent, and mobility are being evaluated through pre- and post-intervention household surveys as well as interviews and focus group discussions.


Installation of drainage

The interventions will combine “hard” solutions (flood protection, drainage, rainwater harvesting), “soft” solutions (flood preparedness, early-warning, waste management), and income-generating and social initiatives within a series of public spaces.

Each is designed to build social cohesion and resilience to local flooding. The first site, KPSP10 in Andolo, is nearing completion and the second, KPSP11, is in design.


The stabilized riverbank at KPSP10 in Andolo

The study will provide critical new evidence on the viability of community-responsive flood adaptation measures, informing policy in Kibera and other rapidly urbanizing cities across sub-Saharan Africa.

Governments, agencies and decision-makers around the world will be better equipped to replicate these measures in partnership with vulnerable communities to improve flood resilience.