The African Development Bank has presented the impacts of climate change on water security on the African continent and the importance of investment in water and sanitation infrastructure.
At an event entitled 'Advancing Urban Water Security under a Changing Climate', organized during the United Nations Climate Summit - COP24 - in Katowice, Poland, the Bank highlighted the importance of water development and sanitation financing.
"When looking at water infrastructure across the continent, both socio-economic challenges, such as urbanisation, and biophysical challenges like desertification, determine how well a region can cope with a decreasing water supply," said Boniface Mwaniki from the Water Resource Authority of Jamaica, responsible for the management, protection, and controlled allocation and use of the country's water resources. "It is also important to better connect water services in an urban area with the catchment that helps to provide them," he told participants attending the event at the Bank's Pavilion.
Changes in water variability, rainfall patterns and water resources availability will tip the balance between water use and supply. These are likely to expose most African cities to increased episodes of water shortages. This will further deepen the challenge of water and sanitation access experienced by governments and other public and private stakeholders.
"With these challenges clearly outlined, the integrated and nature based approaches the African Development Bank is deploying will help make water infrastructure key to both climate change and the fast changing social factors," Mr. Mwaniki added. "We have a 'yes we can' moment: we can lead the sustainable urban water infrastructure."
Watch a video summary of the event here.