Flooding has emerged lately as a major threat for poor people in the suburban area of Dakar (Senegal), a densely populated area. In this region, flood events are mainly controlled by rainfall intensity and groundwater level fluctuations. To assess flood risk at a neighbourhood level, accurate data on flood extent, exposure and vulnerability is required. The objective of the present study is to obtain these data combining remote sensing data and local knowledge. Field work data were collected through interviews with inhabitants. About 500 respondents were surveyed with the support of a local association and very detailed mapping was carried out to clearly identify elements at risk. Information collected at the household level concerns: 1) socio-economic data, 2) information on the property, 3) flooded houses and 4) strategies of risk reduction. This research demonstrates that local knowledge is an important tool to obtain accurate data useful for understanding flood hazard and vulnerability patterns. It provides quantitative data at the household level that can be used to complement conventional GIS and remote sensing data.