3 October 2018
To help national institutions across Africa strengthen climate-resilient water projects, our international team and partners on the Climate Resilience Infrastructure Development Facility (CRIDF) recently co-hosted and co-financed a technical workshop in South Africa. The event took place in Pretoria on 19th - 21st September.
Joined by 100 participants and decision makers from 24 African countries, including the Green Climate Fund, the workshop coincided with the launch of the Project Preparation Partnership, which provides a platform for countries to exchange knowledge about mitigating the effects of water insecurity.
Our own Climate Change & Adaption expert, Charles Reeve, spoke in a presentation about the challenges facing Southern Africa. We also held discussions with representatives from countries including Angola, Namibia, Zambia, and Lesotho to name a few to learn how we could support them in accessing climate finance.
Charles said: “The are high levels of water insecurity in the region. Southern Africa is an area typified by floods in the north and droughts in the south. If you don’t have one, you have the other, and all too often, you’re facing both problems at the same time.”
He added: “We at CRIDF have worked on projects where in one year, you’re dealing with a flood problem, but by the time you come up with a plan to deal with the flood problem, the problem has shifted to drought. This makes the region even more vulnerable to climate shocks. These changes happening to the climate will continue to happen, so the key is to build adaptive capacity.”
At the workshop, participants explored funding, investment criteria, and procedures for delivering climate finance through different windows. Hands-on exercises featured over the course of three days in which representatives of various countries shared water project ideas, while also considering fit-for-purpose examples of project design and financing instruments.
Much of the workshop also focussed on overcoming obstacles found when implementing adaptation projects, including capacity limitations and weak coordination among domestic entities such as ministries. Inexperience in and limited understanding of investment requirements and structuring project finance, for instance, can prove detrimental to gaining the needed resources for a project’s success.
For our part, we are currently working alongside consultancy COWI to implement CRIDF, a DFID-funded programme that seeks to alleviate climate change impact on the poor in Southern Africa. Specifically, it engages with institutions that plan, finance, and develop water infrastructure in the Southern Africa Development Community to propose long-term water solutions and climate adaptation strategies.
We are proud to have been part of an event that fosters meaningful learning among governments, as well as national, regional, and international organisations.
To learn more about the Project Preparation Partnership, please visit the Global Water Partnership website.