N’DJAMENA, Chad, 11 July 2023-/African Media Agency(AMA)/Unplanned and rapid urbanization interacts with environmental degradation and climate change to amplify flood risk in the country. In Chad, flood risk is predominantly concentrated in urban centers, with N’Djamena exhibiting the highest exposure of built-up areas at 14 and 74% exposed to 1-in-10 and 1-in-100-year floods, respectively. One year on from the floods that plunged the Chadian capital into desolation, the World Bank’s latest annual Economic Update provides further food for thought on this scourge.
The 2023 Chad’s Economic Update shows that floods cause significant spillover effects that disrupt economic activity, negatively impact on the well-being of the most vulnerable and exacerbate issues linked to internal displacement and conflict. As Chad is one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change, in the absence of urgent measures to effectively reduce risks and strengthen climate adaptation, the consequences of floods could further worsen, and hamper long-term growth and development prospects.
As for the country’s macroeconomic outlook, the report indicates that Chad experienced a modest GDP growth in 2022, with the expected recovery dampened by floods and a volatile security environment. After contracting by 1.2% in 2021 (-4.3% per capita), the Chadian economy was expected to recover in 2022 thanks to high oil prices, an increased oil production and the depreciation of the FCFA/USD exchange rate. However, the recovery was dampened by floods and a volatile security environment, with GDP growth estimated at 2.2% (-0.9% per capita), and non-oil GDP growth at 1.3%, from 0.4% in 2021. Industry, mainly the oil sector, was the main contributor to growth (4.1 percentage points), followed by agriculture with a contribution of 0.6 percentage points, due to inadequate rainfall distribution and severe floods.
As an effective response to floods, the World Bank study suggests the implementation of targeted policy reforms to strengthen the country’s ability to adapt to floods. Measures to reduce physical and social vulnerability are required to lessen the economic impact of floods, while promoting more productive and economically active cities. In N’Djamena, climate-resilient infrastructure could reduce damage of frequent floods by up to 70 percentage points by the end of the century, compared to a no-adaptation scenario.
Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of The World Bank
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