The annual UN conference on climate change (COP25) held in Madrid in early December failed to raise the most needed climate ambition, despite running almost 44 hours, after its scheduled end. For the African group, "a no-deal was better than a bad deal for the continent," as observed by the incoming African Group of Negotiators (AGN) chair, Tanguy Gahouma of Gabon. "Either we have through this process, the funding and technology transfer or this process can continue for another year." Africa was attending the conference against a background of the continent experiencing extreme weather events. Themed "Time for Action" and attended by nearly 27,000 delegates, COP25 was expected to powerfully articulate the need for parties to raise ambition ahead of 2020 Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) enhancement.
FCFA sponsored a number of journalists to attend the African Climate Risks Conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in October. Below, journalist Sophie Mbugua reflects on her experience.
Water is the lifeblood for urban settlements. Disruptions in supply and/or wastewater management hold enormous risks, both for human health and economic wellbeing. It goes without say that the investment in bulk water infrastructure requires strategic and long-term perspective. However, in the southern African context, many city engineers responsible for urban infrastructure on the ground face a multiplicity of challenges that may frustrate their efforts to plan proactively.
Welcome to the June 2019 edition of the Future Climate for Africa newsletter
Lusaka is one of Africa’s fastest growing cities, and urban densification and economic growth will call for more strategic planning of its water supply and infrastructure. The Zambian capital has enough water supply for the foreseeable future, however the growing demand for this resource from city users, the hydro-power scheme on the river which supplies Lusaka’s electricity, and the sugarcane industry upriver of the city, will call for greater cooperation between the city and various government departments that are responsible for these different sectors.
The provision of safely managed sanitation services for African cities was high on the agenda at the 7th Africa Water Week. 700 million Africans don’t have access to improved sanitation and massive a infrastructure gap and financing shortfall for the sector remains over Africa. FCFA hosted a discussion on the impacts of climate change on the provision of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) infrastructure, particularly for growing informal settlements that characterise urbanisation across the continent.
Watch presentations and videos from our session on "Inclusive and sustainable urban water, sanitation and drainage services under climate change – lessons from African cities" at the 7th Africa Water Week.
Report highlights urgent need to pay more attention to extreme heat in African cities.
Cross-sectoral approaches to policy development are essential to meeting the Paris Agreement on climate change and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which define the post-2015 development agenda. Coherent policy development requires strategic, logical assessment of interlinkages, trade-offs and opportunities within and across sectors and over spatial and temporal scales. However, for many countries realising policy coherence is challenging.
In Blantyre, Gaborone, Harare, Lusaka, Maputo and Windhoek, city governments are working with scientists, engineers and civilians to co-produce narratives about the future of their cities in the face of climate change.