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WASH and Climate Change

07 February 2022
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Africa Water Facility (FAE) prioritizes climate change resilience, adaptation and mitigation as an important cross-cutting issue in its project preparation and implementation activities, as guided by the AWF Revised Strategy (2017-2025) and within the broader framework of the AfDB’s new Water Policy (2020) and Water Strategy (2020).

In the above regard, the AWF ensures the following:

  1. Projects under identification, preparation  and implementation target the poor, underserved and most vulnerable sectors of society, as these communities are the most impacted and with the least ability to cope with climatic shocks and stresses.
  2. All existing and future potential climate risks and hazards to the projects, appropriate adaptation measures, options for building the projects stronger and greener are identified, planned and budgeted for, at project identification and detailed feasibility and design study stages, minimizing the impacts of climate change and variability and enhancing recovery from incidences of climate impacts.
  3. At detailed project design stage, nature-based solutions are considered and evaluated against traditional grey infrastructure measures, and incorporated to the extent technically feasible.
  4. Contributing to strengthening of the enabling environment for climate action by developing or reviewing sectoral policies and/or strategies that are aligned to, or supportive of, climate change mainstreaming measures with a deliberate focus on building stronger and greener infrastructure, augmenting peoples’ knowledge and skills, and improving efficient operation, maintenance and governance systems.
  5. Infrastructure planning and development takes place within a framework of integrated water resources management and contributes to multiple needs and goals including water security, energy security, food security and environmental sustainability. Complemented with watershed restoration and protection; soil erosion control and catchment management; wise use of wetlands; conservation of communal rangelands; water demand management; environmental flow protection; improving efficiency of rainfed and irrigated agricultural systems; use of renewable energy sources; promoting energy-saving stoves; community education, awareness raising and capacity building; multi-stakeholder engagement; gender mainstreaming among others.
  6. Infrastructure projects have a knowledge management component that supports understanding of the current and projected future climate risks, through the collection, analysis, storage and dissemination of water resources and hydroclimatic data to track trends in the climate and support early warning systems, disaster risk reduction measures, and knowledge-based decision making on water resources development and management.

To minimise the impacts of climate change, it is essential to ensuring the integration and incorporation of climate change resilience, adaptation and mitigation measures at the main entry points of the project preparation and design stage, as well as at feasibility and detailed technical design stages of water sector infrastructure projects.