28 August 2018
In tandem with our support for climate-resilient water infrastructure projects, our team attended World Water Week in Stockholm to discuss water-related challenges and their effects on the environment, health, climate, and poverty reduction agendas.
The Stockholm International Water Institute hosts World Water Week annually as a forum for public and private sector actors to exchange knowledge between scientific, business, policy, and civic communities. Among its goals, it seeks to link scientific understanding with policy and decision-making to solve water, environment, and development challenges.
Charles Reeve, climate change expert at WYG, spoke at a session about the Climate Resilience International Development Facility (CRIDF), a DFID-funded programme we are helping to implement with consultancy COWI to alleviate climate change impact on the poor in Southern Africa.
Specifically, CRIDF engages with institutions that plan, finance, and develop water infrastructure in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) to propose long-term water solutions and climate adaptation strategies.
The CRIDF-run session provided an overview of tools, approaches, and case studies that support policy-makers, planners, and technical decision-makers in addressing climate risks and vulnerability.
Charles said: “Climate change is already having a significant impact on food and water security in Southern Africa. Because of poverty, this is disproportionately affecting the most vulnerable groups, including the rural poor, especially women and children. Access to water infrastructure is key to addressing this challenge and build climate resilience.”
Across the SADC’s 12 continental nations, variable weather adversely affects living conditions; extreme flooding can destroy a farmer’s livelihood overnight and droughts drive people from their homes in search of water. These difficulties drive two or more-member states to share over 70 percent of the region’s freshwater resources. This makes CRIDF especially beneficial in not only implementing capacity development, but also working with stakeholders to give locals the funding and technical skills to champion sustainable solutions themselves.
Charles added: “The key to overcoming the challenges in the region is collaboration – not just between ourselves and our CRIDF partners – but also between countries in tackling issues of peace, sovereignty, and security. We’re very optimistic about the progress we’ve already seen thus far.”
As part of its mission, CRIDF will help viable projects in the region mobilise £55 million from the private sector, government, and development finance institutions, as well as catalysing £465 million from a variety of sources for water infrastructure that will build climate resilience for the poor and disadvantaged.
To find out more about CRIDF’s work in Southern Africa, please visit the CRIDF website