Climate Week: 10 Stories of Water, 10 Stories of Impact

Coinciding with the UN’s Climate Action Summit in New York, GWP released a ‘sneak preview’ of impact stories from its Water, Climate and Development Programme (WACDEP). The new publication, “Mobilising Change Makers”, are a collection that illustrate GWP’s water and climate resilience outcomes from 2011 to 2019, giving an overview of changes that have improved livelihoods and made communities more climate resilient.

GWP released the stories in connection to the UN Climate Action Summit in New York. GWP Executive Secretary Monika Weber-Fahr, together GWP Global Head of Climate Resilience, Alex Simalabwi, said they want to remind world leaders that preventing water-related disasters means taking action on managing water resources now, and that the WACDEP experience can provide valuable guidance:

“Such action needs water specialists, organisations, and users to work together with all ministries and agencies in their country and region; together they need to address the links between water and health, water and agriculture, water and pollution, and so on. Only with all voices heard can political will turn into effective action. This approach is in GWP’s DNA: an action network of over 3,000 partner organisations, more than 65 Country Water Partnerships, as well as regional and global teams – all connected through long-standing relationships with mandated institutions at all levels.”

The stories are also a reminder that solutions are ready and available to combat the impacts of climate change: "There is hope – we can address the impacts of climatic change together. We need to get out of our past institutional boxes, learn from each other, and work with each other. It is not easy, but it is doable.”

The story of WACDEP

With floods and droughts becoming more frequent and severe, rainfall patterns growing more erratic, and sea levels rising, the livelihoods of people are threatened - particularly the poorest and most vulnerable. To combat this, it is critical that water security and climate resilience are incorporated as key factors in regional and national development. But in most cases, they are not.

Launched in 2011, the WACDEP aim was to enhance economic growth and human security by integrating water and climate adaptation into development planning and investments. GWP worked with national governments, river basin organisations, and other stakeholders to transform the systems and institutions that govern development. For the African continent, the programme was developed in response to a request from the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) for GWP to support the African Union agenda on water and sanitation. By 2014, WACDEP and the accompanying Integrated Drought Management Programme (IDMP) had achieved global reach and were being implemented in more than 60 countries worldwide.

The results from WACDEP and IDMP have been substantial, as reflected in positive conclusions from external evaluations of both programmes conducted in 2017.

Top photo: Training on rainwater harvesting in Honduras