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Strengthening water security and climate resilience in Africa

Project Reference: TAAF-0026

Water security in Africa is compromised by a highly variable climate with significant inter-annual and intra-annual variability. Present climate variability already destabilises economies, societies and livelihoods, and predicted climate change trends are likely to exacerbate problems for many, particularly the most vulnerable and poor. Water stress can undermine the achievement of key development goals, such as the MDG targets on access to water and sanitation, and slow progress towards sustainable development.

There is an urgent need to enhance the profile of water management in national and regional development planning processes and to recognise water management as a key strategy in building climate resilience.

CDKN is supporting the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) to develop a Strategic Framework for Water Security and Climate Resilient Development strengthen capacity to integrate water security and climate resilience in development planning processes. The  Framework will help senior professionals and decision-makers to identify and develop ‘no or low regret’ investment strategies,  integrate these into planning processes, and influence future development activities so they become more resilient to climate change and variability. The Strategic Framework has been developed as part of the Water, Climate and Development Programme (WACDEP), an AMCOW programme implemented by Global Water Partnership (GWP). It has evolved through a strong collaborative relationship between AMCOW and its Technical Advisory Committee, GWP and CDKN who funded the work.

The methodologies and tools will draw on African and international best practice, but aim to provide products that can be applied over a wide range of country and river basin contexts. The project will provide immediate benefit to the eight countries, four transboundary river basins and one shared aquifer identified for in-depth implementation work under WACDEP: Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Ghana, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tunisia and Zimbabwe; Limpopo Basin, Kagera Basin, Lake Chad Basin and Volta Basin, and the North-Western Sahara Aquifer System. Ultimately the project should be of use to all African countries.

A multi-disciplinary team of international experts, led by HR Wallingford (UK), is working closely with GWP and AMCOW to engage with key stakeholders and to facilitate development of the Framework. The Framework will be launched in May 2012 at the African Water Week. Priority countries and basins identified under WACDEP will be trained to apply and use the Framework after its been developed.

The project has also produced the following policy briefs:

For more information:

  • A video on WACDEP:

CDKN funding: £400,000

Project Manager: Jo McDonnell

Photo courtesy of Sanjini de Silva, Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), Challenge Program on Water and Food.

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