Due to climate change, the increasingly intense rainfall in many African cities means that informal neighbourhoods, ‘slums’, and their inhabitants are particularly at risk from floods. In Dakar, this affects about 2 million inhabitants. Often, public buildings such as health posts, mosques and schools are affected since these are often the last to be built in leftover, low-lying, riskier zones. When schools are flooded, they remain destroyed and closed for months or often close altogether. Due to the lack of resources to rebuild schools, many informal neighbourhoods are denied the opportunity to receive an education.
The Xam-Xam Jëm project “Knowledge of Nature” aims to build climate-resilient, safe schools together with the neighbourhood community, using local natural and recycled materials and 100% renewable energy and adapted WASH infrastructure together with the population and local craftspeople. The schools will use practical schoolwork to teach a sustainable approach to nature and concepts for using rainwater, which was previously considered destructive, as a valuable source for urban agriculture.