New online course can equip WASH professionals support climate resilient development in Southern Africa

Global Water Partnership, UNICEF, and Cap-Net have collaborated to introduce an online course which builds the capacity of Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) sector professionals to design and implement climate resilient and sustainable programming.

The course covers all areas of the Strategic Framework for WASH Climate Resilience including how to assess climate risks, the policy/strategy situation in-country, how to identify and appraise interventions, monitoring and advancing the WASH climate resilience agenda, and financing.

“This course supports the urgent need to increase water and sanitation investment in Africa,” said GWP Southern Africa Executive Secretary and head of the African Coordination Unit, Alex Simalabwi.

“A large portion of the Africa population lives, and will continue over the next 20-30 years to live, in countries which are not making sufficient progress in reducing WASH-related mortality. The economic losses from poor water and sanitation conditions are also considerable.”

“It’s clear we need to invest more in water and sanitation projects on the continent. At the same time, these investments need to support countries’ adaptation plans to unlock climate resilient development.”

The course is aimed at UNICEF staff, members of GWP Country Water Partnerships or Regional/GWPO Staff, members of Cap-Net affiliated networks, and selected representatives of national ministries or water/sanitation agencies which are part of National or State Governments.

“The course equips participants with tools to support concerted and coordinated action in the WASH sector, linking to global, national and subnational climate mitigation and adaptation planning,” said GWP course facilitator José Gesti. “Our goal is to lay robust foundations for WASH programmes that are informed by climate and other risks.”

GWPSA has worked with partners to alleviate sanitation challenges in the regions through WASH and the Integrated Urban Water Management Programme. Support has been given to UNICEF Madagascar in the development of the WASH Climate-Resilience Strategic Framework, as part of the national sectoral and local adaptation planning and implementation in the country.

“While the focus is presently on fighting the COVID-19 pandemic and its immediate consequences, we need to begin to prepare for the next phases of this crisis,” said Kidanemariam Jembere Tiruneh, Technical Advisor on Water, Climate, and Development Program at the GWPSA – African Coordination Unit

“We need to anticipate the type of support governments will need once they begin to rebuild economies and introduce recovery plans. We have a unique opportunity. If we do things right, we can steer the recovery toward a more sustainable, resilient, and inclusive path,” said Tiruneh.

Future iterations of the course will be announced, but you can read more about the course here. 

Photo credit: World Bank