The completed site at KPSP10 features flood protections and various community amenities

Community-Responsive Adaptation to Flooding

Gabion construction

Community meeting for new physical intervention

Stabilizing a flood-prone riverbank

The completed site at KPSP10 features flood protections and various community amenities

Community-Responsive Adaptation to Flooding

flooding community adaptation

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 residents of informal settlements, local government, and university partners. With Community-Responsive Adaptation to Flooding, the interventions will provide evidence of the delivery, costs and impacts of flood adaptations that integrate community input.


Andolo village in Kibera, where the first physical intervention took 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 spaces like the KPSP are a viable climate adaptation to flooding that bridges this gap.


Community design meeting for KPSP11 in Makina village

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.

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.


The stabilized riverbank at KPSP10 in Andolo

Each intervention is designed to build social cohesion and resilience to local flooding. The first site, KPSP10 in Andolo, was completed in 2019, and the second, KPSP11 in Makina village, is in construction.

Each public space within the project combines “hard” solutions (flood protection, drainage, rainwater harvesting), “soft” solutions (flood preparedness, early-warning, waste management), and income-generating and social initiatives.


The site at KPSP10 is built to not only withstand flooding but also encourage social interaction to boost resilience

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.