Author(s): Els Van Uytven; Antoine De Wasseige; Thu Zar Aung; Luciana Das Neves; Florian Sparavier; Sebastien Leyder; Miarintsoa Vonjy Rakotondramanana; Celine Ramstein; John Donald Rennie
Keywords: West-Africa; Flood hazard mapping; Climate change; Climate resilience measures; Power distribution system
Abstract: The Benin Electricity Access Scale-up (BEAS) project, a World Bank investment project, aims to increase the electricity access in Benin by 2030 through the densification and extension of the electricity distribution grids. Doing so in a cost-efficient and climate resilient manner, climate and disaster risk screening were performed and measures to improve the climate resilience of the investments were proposed during the project design stage. This paper will focus on the performed climate and disaster risk screening and will illustrate how this screening step contributes to the vulnerability assessment and the proposition of climate resilient measures. The paper will moreover demonstrate how with the use of publicly available tools and datasets, natural hazard maps can be improved to a level of sufficient scale to evaluate climate resilience of investments on country scale. The paper will furthermore share the data gaps, limitations, strengths, and future steps of the methodology as well as the lessons learned to replicate and mainstream the integration of climate risks in similar energy projects in the region. Potential hazards to the BEAS-project investments in current and future climate (time horizon 2030 and representative concentration pathway 8.5) were identified by means of publicly available tools and datasets. Among several natural hazards, floods were identified to be important hazards in the current climate and were found to remain as such in future climate. An ensemble of publicly available flood maps for the different flood types and for a range of return periods were further statistically analyzed in terms of intensity, frequency and location. The statistical analysis determined the different hazard levels and thereafter assigned a hazard level to each location. By means of the ensemble of flood maps per flood type, the uncertainties arising from the flood modelling step were also addressed. The statistical analysis yielded a high resolution (900m x 900m) flood hazard map covering the entire Benin territory (114.763 km²). The hazard map was overlayed with the BEAS-project investment map in order to identify the hazard levels to which the electricity grid equipment is exposed to. By combining the fragility of the grid equipment, characterized by damage functions, with the different hazard levels, the vulnerability of project investments to flooding in a rural and urban region was assessed and the economic losses were estimated. The effect of resilient solutions against floods on the damage functions as well as the potential economic benefits were illustrated. The results have been obtained within the project “Benin Climate Change and Flooding Disaster Risk and Vulnerability Assessment for BEAS Project” on behalf of the World Bank, who are gratefully acknowledged for their support. The project received funding from the Nordic Development Fund (NDF) under the Africa Climate Change Program and from AFRI-RES.