News & Stories

NDF, partners unveil initiative to secure climate-resilient water and sanitation services in five drought-prone countries


The African Development Bank, in partnership with NDF and the Government of Denmark will roll-out a program to strengthen access to climate-resilient water and sanitation resources in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Mali, Niger and Somalia. The initiative is expected to strengthen recovery in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The new initiative will enhance water systems sustainability through the construction or upgrading existing infrastructures.

The program will support feasibility studies leading to preparation of bankable projects that contribute to increased financing for water, sanitation and hygiene service, improving human health, child education and economic productivity.

"Resilient infrastructure is at the core of the African development process. An investment of $93 billion per year will be required for the next decade to fill Africa's infrastructure gap," said Aage Jorgensen, Program Manager, NDF, during World Water Week, held virtually 23 to 27 August last month.

Tobias von Platen-Hallermund, Chief Advisor in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Denmark, said: "The program will focus on immediate improvements, through rehabilitation, expansion and climate proofing of existing water supply systems, sanitation and handwashing facilities. In the longer term, the program will focus on preparing projects that are investment ready."

The initiative will also seek to provide technical assistance to institutions and mitigate climate-related flood and drought risk in the target countries, which experience strong climatic variability such as irregular rainfall and persistent drought.

"Safely managed water, sanitation, and hygiene services are an essential part of preventing and protecting human health during infectious disease outbreaks, including the current Covid-19 pandemic. The Covid-19 recovery period is an opportunity to promote greater, equitable, sustainable and resilient access to WASH," said Osward Chanda, head of the Bank’s Water Development and Sanitation Department.

More projects


The programme will combat COVID-19 and strengthen the recovery through investments in water supply, sanitation, and water resources management activities in the Sahel and the Horn of Africa. The programme delivery will use a build-back-better and green, climate-resilient approach to target particularly poor, vulnerable and unserved urban communities displaced from the countryside by insecurity, famine and climate/environmental disasters.