Rapid processes of urbanization mean that the disaster risk profile of African countries is changing from predominantly rural, with drought and food security challenges, to predominantly urban, with floods, cyclone, and earthquakes as the main hazards.
During FY21, the World Bank approved 7 new disaster risk management (DRM) projects for Sub-Saharan Africa, resulting in an additional $1.2 billion in support for 6 countries (the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Kenya, Mozambique, Senegal, and South Sudan). In that same fiscal year, GFDRR provided a total of $6.6 million in financing for DRM efforts in the region across four priority areas: 1) risk-informed decision making, 2) reducing risk and mainstreaming DRM, 3) financial preparedness to manage disaster and climate shocks, and 4) disaster preparedness and resilient recovery. This intensified engagement has resulted in comprehensive disaster risk reduction interventions that will contribute to resiliencebuilding, including in the context of COVID-19.
Below are a few project highlights from World Bank and GFDRR DRM engagements in Africa in FY21.
Democratic Republic of Congo
An investment of $500 million for the Kinshasa Multisector Development and Urban Resilience Project has been approved by the World Bank. This project aims to finance institutional capacity strengthening for urban management, access to infrastructure and services and socio-economic opportunities in Kinshasa. Intending cross-sectoral resilience interventions, more than 70 percent of the investment will address citywide basic services needs and neighborhood upgrading activities in targeted communities.
Projects in Senegal are helping strengthen local capacity, build essential infrastructure, and expand access to services like storm drainage and solid waste management. For example, under the first phase of the World Bank’s Stormwater Management and Climate Change Adaptation Project – PROGEP, physical investments in Pikine and Guédiawaye, such as the construction of nearly 30 kilometers of primary canals, over 20 kilometers of secondary canals, and 150,000 square meters of drained paving roads, reduced flood exposure by allowing both rain and ground water to be drained permanently throughout the year. The World Bank recently approved a second phase of the Stormwater Management and Climate Change Adaptation Project - PROGEP valued at $155 million. The rapid preparation of this project, in less than 6 months, was possible due to the successful implementation of the first phase.
In Mozambique, comprehensive urban resilience interventions have strengthened the country’s institutional, physical and social resilience. FY21 saw the approval of two new projects: the Maputo Urban Transformation Project and the Northern Crisis Recovery Project (NCRP), representing a combined total investment of $200 million. Both efforts build on the achievements of the recently completed Mozambique Cities and Climate Change Project which paid dividends in bolstering the country’s response to the flooding impacts of Tropical Storm Chalane as well as cyclones Eloise, Idai and Kenneth. In Beira alone, the project improved the lives of over 230,000 people by rehabilitating stormwater drainage canals and flood control systems, in part through the use of nature-based solutions.
Under the second phase of the Somalia Urban Resilience Project (SURP), a World Bank technical team is conducting an urban flood risk assessment for Kismayo, the country’s third largest city, which will inform the preparation of a city-level storm water drainage plan and enhance flood-resilient urban development. The second phase of SURP will also enable a scale-up in resilient infrastructure investments in cities where the first phase was operational, including Mogadishu, Garowe, Kismayo and Baidoa, while laying the groundwork for expansion to cities in the States of Galmudug and Hirshabelle.
Meanwhile, less than 12 months into implementation, the $137.5 million Somalia Crisis Recovery Project (SCRP) has already provided livelihood support to around 7,000 households through its locust control component. The project has been designed to be responsive to multiple crises including flooding, locust infestations, the COVID-19 pandemic, and drought. For example, the project is providing support to the health sector to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19 through prevention and treatment activities nationally.
The $150.0 million Boosting Inclusive Growth for Zanzibar – Integrated Development Project (BIG-Z) was approved by the World Bank on June 10, 2021. It is expected that the project will directly benefit 220,000 residents and indirectly benefit the whole island. The project applies an integrated area-based approach to ensure that investments are concentrated in high priority areas for maximum outcome. The project will straddle four core areas: resilience, mobility, tourism and cultural heritage preservation, and governance.
Supported by the World Bank and GFDRR, the City Coastal Resilience Africa (CityCORE) initiative was completed in FY21, leaving behind a record of achievement in fostering policy dialogue and investments for urban resilience in coastal cities. Activities supported by the initiative included flood risk assessment and mapping, the development of investment strategies for urban resilience, community engagements around flood risk reduction, and risk identification and awareness. Building on the achievements of CityCORE, a World Bank technical team, in partnership with the City Resilience Program (CRP), is leading the development of a tool that will allow Bank teams to rapidly identify investment needs in flood-prone areas. CRP is a partnership between the World Bank and GFDRR.