Making the Critical Connections between Climate Resilience & Inclusive WASH

The cover of the report Making the Critical Connections between Climate Resilience and Inclusive WASH

Lessons from Water for Women

30 November 2021


The findings of the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) are clear and unsettling: human influence is warming the climate at an unprecedented rate, global heating has already generated weather and climate extremes that have affected every region of the world, and these extremes, along with variability in the global water cycle, will continue to intensify until at least the middle of the century, if not far beyond. Hence, climate change is a major risk to equitable and sustainable development across Asia and the Pacific. Given that climate change affects safe and equitable water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) access and services in low and middle-income countries across the region, climate resilience in the WASH sector is needed urgently.

Climate change disproportionately affects women, people living in extreme poverty, people with disabilities and socially marginalised groups, who often have little influence or control over resources or decisions that affect their communities. Social marginalisation, poverty and exclusion expose disadvantaged people to climate hazards.

However, women and marginalised groups have important knowledge and capabilities as a result of this direct lived experience that are critical to problem-solving and decision-making for climate-resilient WASH. Hence, gender and social transformation to strengthen these voices and reduce unequal vulnerabilities can be a powerful enabler of equitably strengthening resilience to climate change in the WASH sector.

As part of a learning initiative under Water for Women’s Learning Agenda, the Fund launched the report, 'Making the Critical Connections between Climate Resilience and Inclusive WASH: Lessons from Water for Women,' during a sector-wide webinar of the same title.

The report features 12 vignettes from Water for Women partners working on projects in the Asia-Pacific that are helping to build climate resilience through inclusive and sustainable WASH programs and research. It also outlines recommendations from the partners for strengthening climate resilience for inclusive WASH at different levels, recognising that achievement of climate-resilient, inclusive WASH depends on gender and socially transformative practice in the WASH sector.

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