The African Development Bank (AfDB) has drafted a business plan for climate change in Africa, with an implementation cost of about $5-billion.
In keeping with the second yearly Africa Water Week's emphasis on implementation and partnerships, AfDB chief water resources engineer Dr Heshman Candil said that the AfDB would finance about 30% to 40% of the needed funds, but would require collaboration with other co-financing partners and governments.
One of the main areas of focus of the business plan was agricultural water development, to develop an area up to 500 000 ha. This would include new areas under full control of water, rehabilitation and modernisation of existing schemes, development of community and private driven small-scale irrigation, and development of areas under partial control of water in lowlands and flood plains.
Another key focus areas was water storage enhancement - to develop infrastructure to increase water storage capacity in Africa by, at least, 1% for multi-purpose use - to irrigate 760 000 ha and generate 1200 MW of hydropower.
Institutional support and project preparation studies were another important part of the business plan. This included capacity building activities, policy formulation and the identification and preparation of operations in support of agricultural water management and water storage enhancement.
While mobilising additional resources, the AfDB planned to kick-start further implementation of its business plan by spending $135-million for the first four years on its Climate for Development in Africa Programme (ClimDev-Africa).
The programme, which forms part of the AfDBs business plan, aimed at influencing critical sectoral policy and decision-making processes throughout the continent.
"Nowhere is this more pertinent than in Africa, where climate change poses a serious threat to poverty reduction and the achievement of sustainable development. The limited capacity to generate and use appropriate climate information has been identified as a major impediment to addressing climate change concerns in the continent," added Candil.
He stated that the AfDB was committed to address climate change concerns as captured in the recently adopted Climate Risk Management and Adaptation Strategy. This initiative aimed to assist member countries to mainstream climate change information in their national development planning processes.
Considering the importance of climate information in achieving this goal, the AfDB, together with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and the Commission of the Africa Union was supporting ClimDev-Africa, which aimed at strengthening the capacities of regional and national meteorological and hydrological services as well as decision-makers to bridge the gap between climate services and development priorities.