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Adaptation options for impoverished Mshayazafe settlement, Durban, S. Africa

Submitted by Ben Smith 26th November 2009 16:05


Photo by Gina Ziervogel

A sufficient quantity of good quality water is essential for the well-being of impoverished, and therefore, vulnerable communities. However, water resources in Durban are particularly under threat due to climate change. The ability of the municipality to sustain its conventional service delivery (in terms of both quality and quantity) is therefore threatened. This project will investigate adaptation options suitable for the impoverished Mshayazafe settlement and develop a communication protocol for their implementation.

In particular, the project will highlight integrated and proactive ways to address the climate-induced expected impacts on drinking water supply, urban drainage and flood management systems, as well as sanitation. It will consider policy level options (subsidies, demand management, etc.); technological solutions, such as rain water capture, storm water retention, groundwater recharge, alternative forms of sanitation, and water-wise infrastructure design; and address unaccounted for water losses.

Millennium Development Goal 7 includes a water and sanitation target, namely the amount of people without access to adequate sanitation is to be halved by 2015 (an estimated 2 billion people). In South Africa, the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry’s target is even more ambitious: it seeks to provide access to a minimum level of sanitation to all South Africans by March 2010 (15-20 million people). By giving priority to water and sanitation, and highlighting climatic changes that could compound existing challenges (such as urbanisation), this project can be used as a benchmark for local level initiatives in peri-urban settlements that would influence national development and poverty eradication targets.

ACCCA Implementing Organisations

SEI, START, ENDA Tiers-Monde, Climate Systems Analysis Group - University of Cape Town, UNITAR.

Funding Organisation

CCAA/IDRC

Principal Investigator

Dr Debra Roberts, Development Planning and Management Unit, Environment Management Unit, Durban.

Email: robertsd@durban.gov.za