The official launch of the project took place on Thursday 25 October 2018, in Cotonou during a workshop attended by more than 60 participants from the public sector, the private sector, civil society, water users' associations, target municipalities, technical and financial partners in the water sector, as well as a team from the African Development Bank and its Country Representative in Benin.
This project is considered as an innovation in the AfDB's project portfolio. It is the only one carried out by a non-state structure among the 11 projects currently being implemented in the Republic of Benin with AfDB funding in 2018, and which places the production and dissemination of knowledge at the heart of its activities. The initiative recognizes the essential role that knowledge must play in transforming African economies to achieve sustainable development and poverty reduction. This project aims to promote investments resilient to climate change for economic growth, human security and sustainable management of water resources and associated ecosystems in the Nokoué Lake - Porto-Novo Lagune complex. It is an opportunity for Benin, for Beninese civil society and especially for the people of the Inter-municipal Council for Ecodevelopment-Nokoué (Cied-Nokoué).
The RICC project is implemented by the consortium including CWP-Benin and five municipalities of the CIED-Nokoué which are: Adjarra, Porto-Novo, Aguégués, Sèmé-Podji and Sô-Ava. It is the result of a decade of collaboration between the two parties, which resulted, among other things, in the approval of the project in November 2014 by the Special Climate and Development Fund of the African Development Bank following a call for projects.
According to the AfDB Country Representative, this grant agreement shows the willingness of the Bank to support Beninese actors in their relevant sustainable development initiatives. By providing technical and financial support to the project, AfDB stands out as a main climate resilience proponent.
The three main components of the project are to capitalize and generate climate information; establish a center to transform water hyacinth into ethanol gel, which is an alternative to fuels that emit greenhouse gases; and manage the project efficiently.
The first session of the steering committee was held in the aftermaths of the project launch. The nine-member committee is chaired by the Ministry of the Living Environment and Sustainable Development and has reviewed and validated the project's workplan and budget.