World Bank Provides Support to Address Vulnerability and Resilience Issues in Benin

April 26, 2011

US$50 million to improve infrastructure, mitigate the negative environmental impact of floods, and increase the country’s level of preparedness for future flooding

WASHINGTON, April 26, 2011. The World Bank’s Board of Directors this day has granted to the Republic of Benin, a 4-year IDA credit in the amount of US$50 million (around FCFA24 billion) to support the implementation of the Benin Emergency Urban Environment Project (BEUEP), designed to help Benin be better prepared to address the impacts of recurrent flooding on the populations and on the country’s economy.

In 2010 alone, flood disaster in Benin affected more than 680,000 people and caused the death of 46 persons. Fifty-five out of 77 municipalities were affected in varying degrees. More than 50,000 houses were destroyed and 150,000 people were left without shelter. In addition, 278 schools were flooded, 128,000 hectares of crops and farmland were ruined, and an estimated 12,000 metric tons of food stocks were lost due to destroyed storage facilities. The overall damages and losses are estimated to amount to 2% of Benin’s GDP in 2010.

The project has therefore been designed in an emergency context to help improve infrastructure and mitigate the negative environmental impact of floods in the country’s economic capital city Cotonou, and to increase Benin’s level of preparedness for future flooding. The project will achieve these objectives through five main components:

  1. Drainage improvement and rehabilitation--US$23.56 million (about FCFA11.5 billion). This component will help rehabilitate and improve 3 main drainage networks in key areas of Cotonou highly affected by the 2010 flood (Collectors AA, P and W), by calibrating, grading, cleaning and expanding drains and channels, and elevating a bridge (the Fifadji Bridge).
  2. Municipal solid waste management-- US$13.82 (about FCFA6.5 billion). The objective of this second component is to enable Cotonou and affected neighboring municipalities (Abomey-Calavi, Porto-Novo, Ouidah and Seme-Podji) to mitigate environmental and health impacts resulting from the obstruction of drainage systems caused mainly by the indiscriminate dumping of solid waste in the open that was exacerbated by the floods of October 2010. This will be achieved by substantially improving: (i) collection, transport and disposal of solid wastes through construction of collection points, transfer stations, controlled dumpsites, and one additional cell at an existing landfill site; and (ii) capacity development support to Government, municipalities, communities and NGOs.
  3. The third component, “Improved wastewater management and sanitation” (US$4.70 million, i.e. about FCFA2 billion) will help reduce the negative environmental and health impacts associated with the mix of floods and untreated wastewater due to the poor nature of sanitation system in Cotonou. This will be achieved by the development of an appropriate institutional framework for the effective and sustainable management of urban wastewater in Benin, preparation of a wastewater master plan for Cotonou agglomeration (Cotonou, Seme-Podji, and Abomey-Calavi) and Porto Novo, and the implementation of a small-scale decentralized sanitary drainage and wastewater treatment pilot project.
  4. The fourth component, “Flooding and disaster risk preparedness and management” (US$5.03 million, i.e. about FCFA2.4 billion), will contribute to increase the level of preparedness and develop a system for flood risk management, including an early warning system, information and awareness program, and strengthen the capacity of the institutions involved in flood and disaster risk management.
  5. The project’s fifth component, “Project management” (US$2.89 million, i.e. about FCFA1.3 billion) will provide effective and efficient management support for the implementation (including monitoring and evaluation) of the project.

The Benin Emergency Urban Environment Project (BEUEP) responds to an urgent request addressed to the World Bank by the country’s highest authorities in September and October 2010, to seek emergency support to help the flood affected populations. The project is one of the three pillars of World Bank’s support to Benin in response to the severe floods of 2010. The other two projects are: (i) the recently approved Agricultural Productivity and Diversification Project (IDA/multi-donor financing of US$46 million), which aims to restore and improve the productivity and value addition for selected value chains, and was designed to also respond to flood damage and losses in the agricultural sector; and (ii) the Supplemental grant to the Sixth Poverty Reduction Support Credit, in the amount of US$22 million, which will provide direct budget support to the Government to allow them to better respond to increased budgetary demands arising from the flood disaster. 

“We are happy to respond quickly to the emergency needs expressed by the government, and strongly believe that the institutional and technical assistance activities that will be financed by the BEUEP will help strengthen Government’s capacity in flood disaster preparedness and management. At the same time, the project will help rehabilitate drainage infrastructure which, due to their poor condition, contributed to exacerbate the impact of the 2010 floods in the Greater Cotonou area”, says Madani M. Tall, Country Director for Benin, upon the project’s approval by the Board.

The BEUEP is aligned with the Benin’s poverty reduction strategy, and with the World Bank’s Country Assistance Strategy for Benin. It is also in line with the second pillar of the newly approved World Bank’s Strategy for Africa (“Vulnerability and resilience”), which recommends actions aimed at dealing preemptively with the effects of climate change, reducing the number of shocks, and limiting the damage from those that do occur.

Media Contacts
In Washington
Aby K. Toure
Tel : (202) 473 8302
In Cotonou
Sylvie Nenonene
Tel : (229) 21 30 58 57