UNICEF, GWP Global collaborate to support climate resilience and WASH in Madagascar

Global Water Partnership (GWP) Africa undertook an inception mission in Madagascar to support the design of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) work on Climate resilience mainstreaming into the water sector and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) services in the country aligning it to the country National Adaptation Planning process.

The main objective of the mission was to meet UNICEF – Madagascar representatives and the country’s key stakeholders to have a better understanding of the project related processes and expectations.

During the mission GWP undertook desk reviews to familiarize with and integrate all relevant information to the National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) process, the WASH policy framework development, the local development planning as well as the IWRM processes in the country.

A key step to deliver the inception report is the in-country consultations with the key stakeholders and institutions dealing with relevant processes linked to the project (including facilitating focus group discussions) in order to understand their landscape and identify entry-points for applying the Climate Risk Assessment Methodology and mainstreaming climate resilience as well as Climate Change Adaptation (CCA).

UNICEF and GWP established a global collaboration to support countries and their partners across the world to improve sector thinking around WASH and climate change, cutting across both development and emergency preparedness programmatic spheres with climate resilience addressed as a cross-cutting issue encompassing elements of both Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and climate change (CC) adaptation.

The collaboration started in 2014, with the Phase 1 that led to the development of a Strategic Framework for WASH Climate Resilient Development, which is centred on four pillars of activity:

(A) Understand the problem;
(B) Identify and appraise options;
(C) Deliver solutions; and
(D) Monitor and move forward.

The objective of the framework is to provide WASH service delivery that is resilient to climate change. Specifically, the framework focuses on investments to increase the resilience of the WASH sector to current as well as future climate variability and changes in climate. The principles and practices outlined in the framework also aim to complement and strengthen on-going national sectoral and local adaptation planning processes such as those under the NAP process.

The on-going Phase 2 of the UNICEF-GWP collaboration on WASH Climate Resilient Development focuses on completing all necessary technical guidance; on the implementation of the framework in regions and countries; and on the necessary support for skill developments of WASH practitioners.

Precisely the aim of this agreement between UNICEF Madagascar and GWP Office for the Southern African Region (GWPSA) is to support the implementation of the WASH Climate Resilience Strategic Framework in Madagascar, as part of the national sectoral and local adaptation planning and implementation in the country. The collaboration is framed in the context of a global partnership between UNICEF – GWP, under which the Unicef New York Headquarters will provide guidance and follow up to better assist Madagascar Country Office.

Madagascar ranks among the countries in the world most vulnerable to climate change. For the country, temperatures are predicted to rise by 1.1°C in the North and Coastal regions and 2.6°C in the South by 2055. Rainfall is likely to increase in many high elevation areas and decrease in many lower elevation areas by 2055, resulting in increased drought severity in southern Madagascar. This could lead to crop failures and aggravated food insecurity.

Madagascar launched its NAP process in 2012 with a view to reduce climate vulnerability in the medium and long-term and integrate climate-related risks and opportunities into development planning and budgeting systems. The NAP process was established in 2010 as part of the Cancun Adaptation Framework to complement the existing short-term orientated “urgent and immediate” focused National Adaptation Programmes of Action (NAPAs).

The stocktaking mission conducted by a team of UNDP and the GWP in 2015 in the country, under the umbrella of the NAP Global Support Programme, following a request from the Government – Ministry of Environment, revealed that for the water-sector and WASH services, CCA mainstreaming is still limited in Madagascar.