With over 90% of natural disasters being water-related and increasing in frequency and severity, the global WASH community needs to be at the forefront of building resilience against climate change. Financing resilient WASH programs using climate funding mechanisms offers a route to implementation capable of supporting integrated water resources management.
The current COVID-19 pandemic death toll is already over 2 million people globally, a truly shocking number. By the middle of the century we could face the same death toll every year due to the impacts of climate change according to Mark Carney, the UN Envoy for Climate Change and Finance.
No wonder Bill Gates describes this as humanity’s greatest challenge.
Nobody on the planet will be immune to the impact of climate change. Predictably, the burden is likely to fall hardest on those with the lowest resources according to some facts shared by WaterAid
- Only one of the current top 20 recipients of climate-related development finance for water is a Least Developed Country (LDC).
- A temperature rise of up to 2°C will require poorer countries to spend $70 – 100bn every year until 2050 to support adaptation. The majority of current finance is in the form of repayable loans, often at market rates.
- Basic WASH programmes received less than 1% of global climate finance, despite the clear evidence of link between the provision of basic WASH services and economic return.
It seems there is a gap.
A gap between climate change funding and WASH adaptation and resilience. Only four LDCs have climate adaptation plans in place under the National Adaptation Planning (NAP) process, despite a target for all to be ready by 2020. Fortunately there are some activities that give us cause for hope.
The Sanitation and Water for All (SWA) global partnership recently held a very informative and well-attended webinar to detail their response to the gap. Led by WaterAid and coordinating a comprehensive campaign in the run up to COP26, SWA issued a rallying call to finance resilient WASH programmes using climate change funding mechanisms. On a more local level, we at Aquatabs have already seen the opportunity to improve WASH via environmental impact finance. The low carbon footprint of Aquatabs tablets and systems has enabled sustainable delivery of safe drinking water to over thousands of schools in Nigeria and Kenya. We continue to support the global WASH community as it seeks to access increased climate change funding to adapt and build resilience.
Contact us to discuss proposals and existing WASH programmes where Aquatabs low carbon footprint can open new funding opportunities.