The Africa countries of Sierra Leone, Uganda and Mauritania will be receiving USD 18.6 million for project concepts to help climate-proof their water sectors, which is regarded as a critical element of these countries’ moves toward climate-resilient poverty reduction and sustainable development. The Global Environment Facility’s Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) has granted the funds which will be channeled by the African Development Bank (AfDB) to the countries.
On World Water Day, noting the importance of effective water sector support as an agent of economic transformation, AfDB’s President, Donald Kaberuka, emphasized that “It is clear there is no conceivable future for any water-intensive activity or industry that has not adapted to a changing climate, in regions where normal rainfall is replaced by extreme floods or droughts, and where the population continues to expand. Nor will there be any easy future for cities prone to water disasters, particularly those whose urban planning fails to include measures to prepare for such onslaughts of nature. Planning and coordination are paramount, as Governments begin to move away from managing sectors separately, and adopt national water strategies and policies that acknowledge the links between water security, agriculture, energy and urban development.”
In Sierra-Leone, a USD 4 million grant will support the country’s work to create the necessary institutional framework for climate-resilient management of the water and sanitation sector. In particular, the project will focus on increasing water access in rural areas.
In Uganda, a USD 8.3 million grant will help the country build resilience to climate change in flood- and drought-prone regions. Among its activities, the project will include construction of 500 hectares of communities’ plantation, installation of 300 sanitation facilities, and securing access to water through rainwater harvesting for more than 800 households.
In Mauritania, a USD 6.3 million grant will help the country build appropriate climate resilience activities of pastoral and forestry resources in the southern region of the country.
The Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) was established to address the special needs of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) under the Climate Convention, as these countries identified adaptation as their top priority. Specifically, the LDCF was tasked with financing the preparation and implementation of National Adaptation Programs of Action (NAPAs). NAPAs use existing information to identify a country’s priorities for adaptation actions. The LDCF is the only existing fund whose mandate is to finance the preparation and implementation of the NAPAs. The funding is implemented by the 10 GEF agencies, which the AfDB is part of, and executed by national executing entities.