• Sunday, June 23, 2024
businessday logo


AFDB pledges climate adaptation financing to reach $25 billion by 2025

How human activity influences extreme weather

The Africa Development Bank (AFDB) has pledged to quadruple its climate adaptation financing to $25 billion by 2025 on the back of promoting climate-informed design in its portfolios, including water, a new report by the bank has revealed.

In a report released Thursday, the bank said it will use all available platforms, including the World Water Forum, to advocate for increased investment in Africa.

According to the report, “financing is required to ensure water security. World Water Day and this week’s World Water Forum, which is being held in Sub-Saharan Africa for the first time, are opportunities to highlight innovations, progress, and effective programs.”

Over the last two decades, the Bank, according to the report, has funded over 200 projects totalling $9 billion for the improvement of water supply and sanitation services across the continent.

The Bank stated in the report that it will invest at least $6.4 billion to implement the Water Strategy, which will be supplemented by co-financing from other partners and climate funds.

Water is also essential for economic development, food production, energy, and industrialization, according to the report. It is a significant tool for poverty alleviation, with direct links to the pursuit of gender equality. Despite this, millions of Africans lack access to this vital resource.

Data gleaned from the report shows that approximately 35 percent of Africa’s population does not have access to the basic water supply. Some 65 per cent of the continent’s people do not have access to basic sanitation services.

Read also: Experts say climate risk to rise over next 5 years

However, it noted that Africa has developed only 7 per cent of its irrigation potential – even though the agriculture sector contributes to nearly one-quarter of Africa’s GDP and is linked to the livelihoods of upward of 70 per cent of the population.

It said, “In keeping with our High 5 strategic priorities, our objective is to deliver widespread access to clean, reliable and sustainable water and sanitation services that improve the quality of life of the people of Africa.”

Furthermore, the report stated that climate change is exacerbating the situation: the increasing frequency of weather extremes in Africa is resulting in unreliable water supply.

According to the report, this means that African girls, who are frequently burdened with the responsibility of fetching water for household and family use across the continent, will have to walk further from home to find clean water sources.

“The time involved walking to wells increases the likelihood that they will miss school. In urban areas, flooding often places a strain on ageing water infrastructure – which can lead to the spread of water-borne diseases.

“Increasingly, the majority of Africa’s farmers are desperate for contemporary water irrigation systems that don’t exist. More and more, these farmers are forced to rely on rain-fed agriculture, as a result of inconsistent rainfall,” it said.