The city of Monrovia is a peninsular area of land bounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the south and the narrow Mesurado and Saint Paul rivers to the north. This river opens north of Monrovia’s largest slum, West Point, home to 75,000 of Monrovia’s 1.3 million residents. The northern bank of the Mesurado is populated with mangroves, but much of the city on the southern bank is directly exposed to the river. Many of Monrovia’s inhabitants live in unplanned settlements in low-lying coastal areas of the city. Buildings in the settlements are variably constructed out of zinc, wood, and other weak local materials., These slums are characterized by their poor water and sanitation systems and increased risk of disease. Built-up areas along the water’s edge have suffered considerable damage and loss from coastal and river flooding and coastal erosion, particularly during the rainy season. Projected sea level rise will exacerbate these conditions and increase the severity of storm surge and flooding.
Open Cities Monrovia proposes a Participatory Mapping effort in Clara Town and Doe Community in Monrovia City, to collect geospatial data to plan for adaptive measures around seasonal flooding, poor sanitation, and drainage infrastructure. Improved datasets on flooding will help government and development partners to make more refined policies around causes of flooding, (both man-made or climate change induced) and to design programs that would minimize or eradicate future occurrences.
Government Stakeholders identified for this project include: the Monrovia City Corporation (MCC), Liberia Institute of Statistics and Geo-Information Services (LSGIS), National Disaster Management Agency (NDM), the Ministry of Public Works, the Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation, and Ministry of Gender, Child and Social Protection.