The West African Coastal Areas Management (WACA) Program supports West African countries’ efforts to improve the management of their shared coastal resources and reduce the natural and man-made risks affecting coastal communities.
As part of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Netherlands Water Partnership (NWP) and the World Bank that was signed in June 2020, NWP has committed itself to establishing and managing a Dutch WACA hub.
The West-African coast is facing a range of issues, both natural and man-made, such as coastal erosion, floods, pollution and storm surges, of which the impact is magnified by climate change. For the coastal communities that live along the West-African coast, the effects are devastating. Many have seen their homes and businesses devoured by the sea and have lost important ways to sustain in their livelihoods.
In order to support these communities and their governments in their efforts to tackle these issues, the WACA Program was established by the World Bank in partnership with West-African countries, regional institutions and international organisations.
The programme aims to: boost the transfer of knowledge, foster political dialogue among countries, and mobilize public and private finance to tackle coastal erosion, flooding, pollution and climate change adaptation.The programme is hosted by the World Bank, and consists of country projects, regional integration and support activities, and a WACA Platform as mechanism to scale-up knowledge, dialogue and finance. Building on the WACA Platform, the idea of initiating several hubs which connect international expertise to West-African partners was developed.
The WACA Program has the potential to house concrete (business) opportunities for the Dutch water sector, which has ample experience and expertise with regards to coastal engineering, building with nature and climate adaptation.
Opportunities may include:
In order to connect the Dutch water sector to these opportunities, NWP and the World Bank formalized their partnership with a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) through which NWP, together with its partners, committed to establish and manage a WACA hub in the Netherlands. This hub will serve as a gateway that helps facilitate the development of new projects, as well as share Dutch knowledge and expertise and work together with West-African partners on improving the coastal resilience of West African communities.
After signing the MoU, NWP started with an inception phase to figure out the needs and interests of the Dutch water sector and possible services of a Dutch WACA hub. To gather input on this, NWP held 1-1 interviews with its members and hosted several online sessions to bring together the Dutch water sector to further inform them on the WACA program and the NWP-World Bank partnership. Going forward, the World Bank and NWP will work together to organise targeted follow up meetings, developing some key communicational material and exploring the options for possible pilot projects.
In the meantime, NWP is giving shape to the services of the Dutch WACA hub, which can include, yet are not limited to, the activities listed below:
Are you interested to stay up to date with NWPs activities with regards to the WACA Program? Consider subscribing to our mailing list by sending an e-mail to Raül Glotzbach. In case you any have questions, ideas or suggestions about the work that we do and / or with regards to the Dutch WACA hub, please contact Josephine Damstra and / or Raül Glotzbach.