Climate change is water change.
Already in cities, the poorest residents struggle to get enough clean water for their daily needs.
And climate change is making the situation worse – exacerbating inequalities, and impacting on residents’ health and prosperity.
Increased drought, more extreme flooding and rising sea levels are all affecting water supply. Higher temperatures mean that people need to drink more water just to get through the day. Climate change is also forcing people to migrate from rural areas to makeshift urban neighbourhoods, increasing the demand on fragile services.
We need to act now to help cities improve their resilience to climate change, through strengthened water and sanitation systems.
The summer is getting warmer each year and the demand for drinking water is increasing.
Rebuilding in the wake of climate disasters
In the aftermath of the 2019 Cyclone Idai, which caused extensive damage to Beira in Mozambique, WSUP is supporting the city to rebuild water and sanitation services.
Our work aims to create more resilient services so that, as extreme weather events in the region become more common, vulnerable residents in Beira have sustainable access to clean water and safe sanitation.
Building more resilient water services
As the effects of man-made climate change become more pronounced, water shortages are becoming more common throughout Africa, with Southern Africa identified as a particular climate change hotspot.
Climate proofing sanitation systems
Challenges such as water shortages, and increased severity of flooding can result in basic sanitation systems becoming overwhelmed.
As a result, there is a need to rethink urban sanitation systems to make them fit for purpose and more suitable for those residents most at risk from climate change.
Protecting against the affects of worsening flooding
Climate change is causing more flooding, which can wreak havoc on water and sanitation infrastructure. In 2020, the city of Rangpur, Bangladesh, was badly affected by flooding; whilst in Maputo, Mozambique, we have worked with the city council to improve drainage around low-income communities.