With a growing number of African countries being significantly affected by prolonged severe droughts and water scarcity, rising sea levels affecting coastal areas, changing rainfall patterns affecting agriculture and reducing food security, severe floods affecting people’s livelihood, amplified by community structural and gender inequalities, health pandemics like Covid -19, social disparities and exclusion, environmental impacts, conflict, fragility, ecosystem destruction, land degradation; climate change and variability is now recognized as the major challenge of this century for humanity.
Climate change and variability also has impacted on water resources with a cascading effect on its reliability and sustainable support to water and sanitation services to the most vulnerable communities. Building resilience and adapting to climate change is therefore crucial to sustaining basic services, especially for systems and people most vulnerable to climate-related hazards. Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, abbreviated as WASH is part of the solution to building climate change resilience, adaptation and mitigation. However, climate resilient WASH services have been difficult to attract finance.
In this blog, Elicad Elly Nyabeeya, WASH and Climate Resilience Expert at African Water Facility of the African Development Bank offers some tips on how to prepare resilient WASH projects to attract financing.
Before going any further, it is important to understand the concept "Climate-resilient WASH project"
What does it mean?
A climate-resilient WASH project is one with ability of its system(actors) and components parts to anticipate climate risks and hazards (cyclones, sea water rise, floods, droughts, heatwaves), to absorb the shocks and stresses, recover from the effects of hazardous event in a timely and efficient manner and adapt to cope in the future. It therefore helps ensure that WASH infrastructure, management structures and services are sustainable and resilient to climate related hazards; and WASH contributes to building community resilience to climate change.
A WASH resilience approach ensures integrated water supply, sanitation systems, hygiene education services and practices meet the needs of children, their families and communities, whilst adaptive to the potential shocks and processes of climate change that have inhibited the provision of sustainable WASH in African countries.
What are the fundamental components of a resilient WASH project to attract financing?
A resilient WASH project to attract financing requires to have integrated water supply, sanitation and hygiene education components with holistic service levels covering community, schools, health facilities and communal places like markets, with good system efficiency, maintenance and operational management structures.
From a climate change resilience mainstreaming perspective and to attract more financing, we have developed below, some elements that will enable to prepare quality projects at entry.