Adaptation to Climate Change in Water, Sanitation and Hygiene. Assessing risks, appraising options in Africa.

Abstract

This report presents the findings of research into the risks to delivery of WASH results posed by climate change in Africa, drawing on rapid case study reviews of WASH programming in Malawi, Sierra Leone and Tanzania. A separate Case Study Report provides further detail on country background and findings.

Section 1 of this report begins by looking at the WASH landscape, the gains made, but also some of the bottlenecks that hold back progress. In view of their importance and the sums of money involved, it is remarkable how little is known about the performance of services, why they so often fail, and the resources they depend on.

Having looked at the context for adaptation decision-making in WASH, Section 2 of the report looks at the risks to delivery of WASH results in three countries: Malawi, Sierra Leone and Tanzania. In each country, the aim was to canvass opinion on a risk screening approach that could be applied by programme designers and implementers to identify and mitigate risks. The approach considered climate change in context – as one of a number of threats affecting WASH outcomes - and focussed also on WASH institutions and governance.

Section 3 of the report looks at the use of cost-benefit analysis (CBA) as a means of appraising the adaptation options prioritised through the risk screening process. The main aim is to show how CBA could be used as an appraisal tool, alongside risk screening, to identify a broad set of adaptation options and then go about prioritising them.

Finally, Section 4 of the report summarises the main conclusions of the project and identifies some next steps in terms of the application of research findings and further research needs. A main conclusion is that clear opportunities exist to increase the resilience of WASH, and that adaptation should start with the measures that tackle existing climate risks that countries such as Malawi, Tanzania and Sierra Leone already face.

This report has been produced by ODI for the UK Department for International Development (DFID) Adaptation Knowledge and Tools programme and published through Evidence on Demand.

The Adaptation Knowledge and Tools programme is a DFID-funded programme intended to maximise the effectiveness of UK and international investment in climate change adaptation and resilience. The knowledge and tools generated through this programme are expected to promote greater understanding of what constitutes best practice in adaptation, as well as better international cohesion and coordination around adaptation. Through these entry points the programme expects to increase the quality of international and UK adaptation programming and reduce its risk.

Citation

Oates, N.; Ross, I.; Calow, R.; Carter, R.; Doczi, J. Adaptation to Climate Change in Water, Sanitation and Hygiene. Assessing risks, appraising options in Africa. Overseas Development Institute, London, UK (2014) vii + 82 pp.

Adaptation to Climate Change in Water, Sanitation and Hygiene. Assessing risks, appraising options in Africa.

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