18 July 2014

Danish stormwater solutions will fight drought and flooding in African cities


Urban flooding, drought and water scarcity are major climate change hazards affecting African cities like Addis Ababa and Dar es Salaam. A Danish research team from the University of Copenhagen is designing and testing the same concept that is used to manage stormwater in Copenhagen, in the African cities Addis Ababa and Dar es Salaam.

A river in Dar es Salaam

Massive problems with erosion at a river in Dar es Salaam

The basic idea is to delay and infiltrate stormwater runoff locally in the city, rather than discharging the water through sewer systems.

In Denmark, such Landscape based Stormwater Management (LSM) provides an alternative to sewer system enlargement in response to increased precipitation, and has been coupled with revitalization of existing cities.

In cities like Addis Ababa and Dar es Salaam that basically lack sewer systems the concept of LSM can be seen as a soft infrastructure that can provide some of the same services and at the same time strengthen the urban green infrastructure, reduce the risk of flooding, improve the urban water supply, and support local livelihood activities, if appropriately planned and implemented. For mitigating the negative effects of climate change and at the same time providing opportunities for sustainable urban development LSM is an option to be appraised.

This solution and more will be presented at the international congress on Global Challenges: Achieving Sustainability, taking place in Copenhagen, Denmark on October 22nd to 24th. It is arranged by the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU). Press has free entrance if registered in advance.


Antje Backhaus
Mobil: +45 29 93 35 51

Marina Bergen Jensen
The Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management
The University of Copenhagen

For more information on the congress Global Challenges: Achieving Sustainabilily:

Head of communications
Elisabeth Wulffeld
Mobile: +45 21 17 91 40