Here is the work of Djiby Sambou, PhD in Climate Change and Water Resources, as part of our weekly series Les Papiers de la Fondation, articles written by the researchers the Foundation supports at the end of their year of research. The Papiers de la Fondation, scientific articles of around twenty pages, present the results of their work in the form of working papers. They are written according to academic criteria for specialised or non-specialised audiences, in order to make the knowledge thus created accessible to all interested people and to allow a broad debate.

Les Papiers de la Fondation: disseminating research and fostering debate

« Socio-ecological resilience of vulnerable communities in the Senegal River Delta to climate change »

  • Djiby SAMBOU, PhD in Climate Change et Water Resources, Assane Seck University of Ziguinchor
  • Aïdara Chérif Amadou Lamine FALL, teacher/researcher, Geography Departement, Assane Seck University of Ziguinchor
  • Mamadou Lamine MBAYE, teacher/researcher, Physics Department, Assane Seck University of Ziguinchor
  • Mamadou Aguibou DIALLO, teacher/researcher, Sociology Department, Assane Seck University of Ziguinchor


The delta of the Senegal River is frequently subject to climatic hazards such as floods, coastal erosion and drought which expose to various vulnerabilities.

Thus, this study aims on the one hand to analyze the environmental, socio-economic vulnerability and to study population’s perceptions face to climate change in Saint-Louis (Senegal). On the other hand, it seeks to assess the resilience of its inhabitants.

For this purpose, we used remote sensing data and processing and qualitative and quantitative household survey.

The results indicate a high coastline vulnerability with a decline of 0.35 m / year. Sea-level rise scenarios of 1.5-meter and 2-meters, and would result in flooding respectively of 12% and 15% “la langue de Barbarie” area (199216 ha). In addition, the economic stakes associated with the hazards of coastal erosion mainly concern fishing and tourism activities as well as housing. Also, the natural coastal land, without built frame, account for 42% of the total length of the coast in Saint Louis. The results show also low population resilience to climate change. However, they have a good knowledge of risks associated with climate change, but their adaptation strategies are not always appropriate for deflected delta’ hydrological system.

Key words: vulnerability, resilience, climate change, Senegal