The African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Climate Investment Funds (CIF) have won the Water Change Maker People’s Choice Award-Africa for a climate-resilient project in Zambia.

The Strengthening Climate Resilience in the Kafue Sub-Basin Pilot Program for Climate Resilience (SCRiKA) won the first prize of approximately 7,000 votes by two other finalists, as announced at the Climate Adaptation Summit 2021 on 25 January.

Launched in 2014 with $38 million in funding from CIF, SCRiKA aims to strengthen rural communities’ capacity to withstand climate variability and the long-term consequences of climate change.

According to the AfDB, by the end of 2020, about 1,200 microprojects had been rolled out under SCRiKA to advance hard and soft adaptations, helping 800,000 Zambian farmers develop greater resilience to flooding and droughts. One element is the construction and rehabilitation of climate-resilient roads.

“We could not have done this alone,” said Indie Dinala, SCRIKA’s Project Manager and an official in Zambia’s Ministry of Planning and Development. “We thank the African Development Bank and CIF for enabling us to build the resilience of rural farmers to cope with climate change in Zambia. The Government of Zambia, with support from them, has been successful in advancing climate-resilient development.”

“We look forward to more partnerships with CIF, MDBs (multi-national development banks) and actors in the climate adaptation space as we scale up to other regions because the need is vast and urgent!” she added.

“Adaptation initiatives such as SCRiKA are required to cope with climate change-induced impacts on water resources in Africa,” said Wambui Gichuri, Acting Director of the Water Development and Sanitation Department, African Development Bank, who also serves as Acting Vice-President for “To know that thousands of farmers now have access to solar-powered boreholes and other innovations to irrigate crops and increase incomes shows how Bank interventions can improve quality of life, particularly in rural areas. Water security is also key to energy security, food and nutritional security, and industrial development,” she added.

Anthony Nyong, The Bank’s Director of Climate Change and Green Growth said: “The SCRiKA project demonstrates the power of partnerships and having communities in the driving seat of adaptation action! We are very excited about this award and the African Development Bank will continue to mobilise resources to deliver more such innovative projects at scale and transforming Africa’s adaptation landscape.”Agriculture, Human and Social Development at the Bank.

The Climate Adaptation Summit Water ChangeMaker award, organised by the Netherlands government and Global Water Partnership (GWP) celebrates and promotes teams and organisations in Africa shaping water decisions that build climate resilience in Africa, in recognition of the continent being on the frontline of climate change. The other two finalists were Zutari Water Resources Group in South Africa and the Shire River Basin Management Programme in Malawi.