Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Engineering Science


Civil and Environmental Engineering


Slobodan Simonovic


The Gambia, a country in West African, faces an increasingly daunting situation. They do not produce enough food needed to feed the population, yet population growth remains high, and the current area of land under cultivation is approaching total arable land available. Climate changes complicate matters further as the majority of farms lack irrigation and are dependent on rainfall to provide water to their crops. The purpose of this thesis is to provide the first 1st iteration of a system dynamics model that could be useful as a tool to assist decision in the Gambia better understand long-term implications of policies before they are implemented. Contained within this thesis is the foundation of a system dynamics simulation model designed specifically for the Gambia that incorporates five interconnecting sectors: climate, population, land use, food production, and water resources. The model is demonstrated through four simulated scenarios over a 100-year period and an analysis of the long-term model behaviour of the model is provided. The simulated scenarios include the reduction in total fertility rate, increased irrigation, increase in crop yields, and extreme reduction in precipitation. The simulations unanimously show the long-term dangers posed by population growth and climate change in the Gambia.