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Politecnico di Torino (2020)

Progress in planning mitigation and adaptation strategies driven by indigenous knowledge and numerical modelling to face hydrometeorological hazards in the Sahel

TAMAGNONE, PAOLO

Titre : Progress in planning mitigation and adaptation strategies driven by indigenous knowledge and numerical modelling to face hydrometeorological hazards in the Sahel

Auteur : TAMAGNONE, PAOLO

Université de soutenance : Politecnico di Torino

Grade : Doctoral Dissertation Doctoral Program in Civil and Environmental Engineering 2020

Résumé partiel
Natural hazards are becoming more and more a global issue since the negative impacts that are causing on the environment and the entire biological sphere. Nowadays, these phenomena are even more exacerbated by the ongoing climate changes and environmental degradation that are affecting, although with different severity, the whole planet. Among others, one of the hardest hit areas is the Sahel, the region that embeds all arid and semi-arid countries bordering the great Sahara Desert. In these regions, climate-related extremes are increasingly threatening the basis for developing modern societies, from securing the livelihood to the economic expansion. Besides the rising frequency with which natural catastrophes occur, the relentless growth of the population makes a large share of it progressively more exposed and vulnerable to these threats. Notwithstanding these facts that are already taking place among the African communities, future projections are depicting worse scenarios in which the hydrological framework will be characterized by an intensification of precipitation, higher temperatures, and longer dry spells. Thus, impelling is the necessity of developing adaptation and mitigation strategies to face anthropic and climate-related impacts. In this context, the main purpose of the dissertation is to provide a comprehensive analysis of suitable strategies to deal with hydrometeorological hazards affecting the Sahel, especially against floods and droughts. All addressed investigations are characterized by the twofold purpose to be : (a) contextualized, i.e. indigenous knowledge has represented the starting point of each insight and analysis ; (b) advanced, i.e. enhanced numerical models have been implemented to examine and meet the goal. The goals pursued in this thesis are (i) to provide all the preliminary analyses accomplished for the implementation of the first Early Warning System for flood alertness at the service of riverine populations of the Sirba river ; (ii) to assess the capabilities of indigenous rainwater harvesting techniques (RWHT) to be adopted as an effective strategy for flood mitigation ; (iii) to comprehensively investigate the benefits induced by using RWHT in mitigating the plant water stress induced by rainwater shortage.

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