Disastrous and recurring floods have impacted West African urban centres over the last decade, accentuating already existing vulnerabilities in poor neighbourhoods. Climate change-induced changing weather patterns and more extreme weather events are only part of the explanation for this situation, as large segments of the urban population in West Africa are not offered the public services, infrastructure and protective regulations needed in order to respond to floods. Through an empirically grounded approach, the article shows that the ability to respond to floods is formed largely outside the realm of the state in a poor peri-urban municipality of Pikine, Dakar. The authors show how the organization of collective services pertaining to flood response and climate change adaptation is maintained through co-production among service users and providers entailing a mixture of diverse governance modes. The article concludes that weak state capacity is not equivalent to non-existent of ungoverned collective services linked to floods. While flood response service delivery through co-production, may constitute the best available options in a context of poor resources, because of the negotiated character of public service delivery it also creates an environment favourable for brokers to take ownership of central processes of service delivery and for structural inequalities to be reinforced locally.
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- climate change
- disaster risk management