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Project case Study

Enhancing southern Africa’s climate resilience

Supporting the development of sustainable infrastructure in shared water basins

Economic growth throughout southern Africa is driving rapid demographic change and an increase in demands for water, food and energy. The problems associated with resource availability are being exacerbated by climate change, in a region already affected by a dramatically variable climate.

Our Climate Resilient Infrastructure Development Facility (CRIDF), funded by the Department for International Development since 2013, recognises the link between economic development and sustainable, equitable use of southern Africa’s transboundary water resources. The facility therefore aims to catalyse the development of projects that increase the ability of communities, policy makers and planners to cope with climate extremes.

CRIDF targets infrastructure development in transboundary water basins.

Project info

Climate Resilient Infrastructure Development Facility (CRIDF)

Project began

  • 2013



  • Department for International Development

By doing so, CRIDF is facilitating enhanced cooperation between stakeholders in shared river basins and is strengthening the evidence base for demonstrating the national benefits of cooperation on shared waters. In this way, CRIDF aims to contribute to peaceful, climate resilient and sustainable planning and management of southern Africa’s shared waters, and generate current and future benefits for the region’s poorest.

To achieve this we work through three linked channels:

  1. Small-scale infrastructure projects
    We are invited by stakeholders to participate in the preparation of infrastructure projects at any point in the project cycle. Our team supports the in-country procurement, subsidy and supervision systems for infrastructure that will be, once complete, owned and managed by local authorities, water user associations, or energy suppliers. We use these projects a platform to engage further stakeholders, introducing climate resilience and transboundary concepts into national and regional policies. We then disseminate the lessons and evidence from all our projects through stakeholder networks in an effort to replicate success, mainstream climate resilience and pro-poor considerations into water management practices.
  2. Infrastructure finance
    In addition to providing a small amount of capital finance for our chosen projects, we mobilise infrastructure finance interventions to complement our infrastructure preparation activities. This work is focused on investigating and securing innovative finance arrangements and funding partners for the implementation of our infrastructure projects. By doing so, we can leverage a regional maximum support to catalyse a fundamental regional change.
  3. Technical assistance to stakeholders
    Finally, we provide extensive technical assistance to its stakeholders, ranging from long-term advice to key institutions, to a rapid advisory service to respond to ad hoc requests for support. Such technical assistance can gain us a seat at the table from which to influence the planning and management of infrastructure in shared water basins.

We are on the road to achieving real change for people living in southern Africa, including:

  • Broadening the scope of the Ruhuhu scheme in Tanzania to allow 18,000 poor beneficiaries access to improved water security, climate adaptation, clean energy generation and new transport links
  • Improving the health of poor communities in Malawi with a safe water supply through an integrated public private partnership; and
  • Securing better livelihoods for flood-afflicted communities in Namibia through development of a small-scale irrigation scheme

In November 2014, CRIDF won the prestigious Overseas Project of the Year award.

It is a pleasure to have CRIDF as a partner because it ensures that poor communities' priority needs are addressed.

Director General, Regional Water Administration, Central Mozambique, Government of Mozambique

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