Environment - Biodiversty and Climate Change

Speeches Shim

Women from local communities undergo eco-guard training in the Grebo-Krahn National Park, Côte d’Ivoire.
Women from local communities undergo eco-guard training in the Grebo-Krahn National Park, Côte d’Ivoire.
Wild Chimpanzee Foundation

West Africa is an immense and diverse region of 21 countries with rich ecosystems, including the Guinean Forests, which are recognized as one of 35 global biodiversity hotspots teeming with a high diversity of plants and animals. These ecosystems are under tremendous threatening  pressure from increasing population, poverty, unsustainable and illegal land use practices, logging, climate change, poor governance and ineffective policies.

USAID is working to protect key transboundary forest landscapes, including the Guinean Forests and other endangered landscapes in Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. These forests cover an area of about 1.5million hectares. In 2020/21 USAID’s efforts in protecting these landscapes reduced greenhouse gas emissions by over 8.7million MT. Together with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Mano River Union, and the Abidjan Convention, USAID is implementing interventions to improve the management of these transboundary forest landscapes, protect the plant and animal species that live in them, and curb illegal wildlife trade.

West Africa is also a region with a rapidly growing urban population which faces an increasing demand for water. Millions of people do not have potable water in their homes or businesses, and few receive sanitation services due to the cost and lack of drainage and sewerage systems. This rapid growth is putting pressure on an already strained water and sanitation infrastructure, with municipalities struggling to make improvements toward water and sanitation targets outlined in the Sustainable Development Goals.  Sound technologies, tools and information are needed to address these development challenges.

SERVIR/West Africa

Cattle herders use satellite information on their smartphones to guide their cows to water.
Cattle herders use satellite information on their smartphones to guide their cows to water.
CSE/SERVIR WA

SERVIR/West Africa  is a joint USAID-NASA initiative that provides space-based research for environmental protection, and helps countries in the region better prepare for a changing climate and increased environmental hazards. Since September 2020 SERVIR has been increasing the ability of institutions in the region to advance in the prevention of fires, as well as in the monitoring of illegal mining. Using geospatial technologies and analysis, West African countries are improving their resilience to climate change impacts and ensuring that land use management reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Geospatial information and knowledge products focus on: food security and agriculture; water and water-related disasters; land cover, land use change, ecosystems; and weather and climate. 

This activity supports the Agrometeorology, Hydrology, and Meteorology Regional Center (AGRHYMET), a specialized institution of the Permanent Interstate Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS), and four other regional members of the consortium. Examples of some of its achievements include: Monitoring impermanent water bodies (WENDOU) for Ferlo in Senegal, charcoal production site monitoring service for West Gonja and Sene Districts in Ghana; and the artisanal mining monitoring portal in Ghana.

African Water Association Capacity Building Program (AfriCap)

AfWA Women 20th Congress in Kampala, Uganda.
AfWA Women 20th Congress in Kampala, Uganda.
AfWA

African Water Association Capacity Building (AfriCAP) supports the African Water Association (AfWA) in bringing together leaders from institutions involved in the water and sanitation sector. In regular meetings AfWA members share lessons learned and best practices on issues concerning, but not limited to, drinking water production and distribution, management of sanitation services, and water and sanitation regulations and policies. AfriCap disseminates informative products consistent with the demands of the AfWA members; develops partnerships and mentoring relationships between AfWA members; and strives to Improve AfWA's institutional capacity.

Members include: African Water and Sanitation Academy (AWASA); West Africa Municipal WASH (MuniWASH), African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW); with Regional Implementing Partners being; CEMEAU (ONEA) in West Africa; ERA (CAMEROON) representing Central Africa; IREC (NWSC) for East Africa; and RAND WATER and Ethekwini Municipality for Southern Africa.

The West Africa Municipal Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (MuniWASH)

A mason constructing latrine concrete slabs in Bouaké, Côte d’Ivoire.
A mason constructing latrine concrete slabs in Bouaké, Côte d’Ivoire.
MuniWash

West Africa Municipal Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (MuniWASH) aims to expand city-wide water, sanitation and health (WASH) services that reach poor and underserved community members in priority municipalities. 

Since September 2019 MuniWash has been working with government ministries and agencies and with multiple service providers (public and private) in Benin and Cote d’Ivoire to improve financial viability and sustainability of WASH services, technical and operational performance, and governance and management. MuniWASH also collaborates with the African Water Association (AfWA) as a learning partner to capture lessons learned and help guide urban WASH programming.  By the end of the activity 10,000 people who have no potable water, will have access to basic drinking water services and 65,000 people will have access to basic sanitation.

Sanitation Service Delivery (SSD) 

A trained micro-entrepreneur and his employees installing a low-cost latrine model in flood-prone areas in Benin.
A trained micro-entrepreneur and his employees installing a low-cost latrine model in flood-prone areas in Benin.
Population Services International (PSI)

Sanitation Service Delivery (SSD) addresses the conditions in West Africa that prohibit the growth of local markets to provide quality sanitation services and products in their communities. By collaborating with the private sector, governments, and civil society, SSD is improving sanitation and safe disposal in Ghana, Benin and Cote d’Ivoire by building the capacity of local micro-entrepreneurs to become the market focal point for consumers; engaging microfinance institutions to help micro-entrepreneurs expand their businesses with flexible consumer repayment options and access to capital; and supporting local government authorities to advocate and enforce laws that assure quality of sanitation products.

Since October 2014, SSD has helped create valuable employment opportunities for many entrepreneurs in Benin and Cote d’Ivoire who have installed more than 53,000 sanitation products. Starting as low-income informal artisans, these sanitation entrepreneurs have established businesses with multiple outlets, invested in equipment to increase their production capacity, and created new jobs. In turn, more than 750,000 people have benefited from this program and enjoy improved sanitation. More than 1,100 people have also received loans with flexible repayment options to construct toilets commercially. 

Last updated: August 27, 2021

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