Africa Water and Sanitation Local Authorities Network
  • Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for over a third of the world's 884 million people who still do not get their drinking water from improved sources.
  • 26% of Africa's population (244 million) has a piped water connection on their premises.
  • Africa has 9% of global freshwater resources, but 15% of the global population.
  • Almost 20% of Sub-Saharan Africa relies on a water source that is more than 30 minutes away from the household.

Climate change adaptation is a key to achieving developmental agendas

Climate change will threaten all aspects of the development agenda globally, particularly in developing countries where growing demand from population growth, agricultural expansion and industrialization is resulting in water becoming increasingly scarce. These factors provide major challenges for cities to meet the demands of growing communities while providing adequate and well-maintained services at the local level. Adaptation measures to climate change undertaken now will, therefore, improve flexibility and have net benefits for water resources (irrigation, water reuse, aquifer and groundwater management inter alia).

Initiatives necessary for the enhancement of adaptive capacity are essentially equivalent to those promoting sustainable development. Climate adaptation and equity goals can be jointly pursued by initiatives that promote the welfare of the poorest members of society for example, by improving food security, facilitating access to safe water and health care and providing shelter and access to other resources.

Water is projected to be the main channel through which the impacts of climate change will be felt by people, ecosystems and economies. Extending and securing access to water and sanitation services plays a key role in poverty reduction. Households benefit from a range of health, educational, nutritional and broader livelihood impacts, households and economies benefit through greater resilience to climate change.

Failure to ensure that water and sanitation services are resilient will have major public health consequences if water quality deteriorates, water availability becomes less certain and sanitation systems cause environmental contamination. Indeed, not taking climate change into account, alongside other pressures on services, could result in a reversal of progress against future targets and the loss of hard-won public health and poverty alleviation gains.