The African Development Fund - the concessional window of the African Development Bank – has approved a US $ 13.95 million grant to the government of Ethiopia for the Borana Resilient Water Development for Improved Livelihoods Programme. The programme will enhance access to climate resilient, gender sensitive, integrated and sustainable water and sanitation services in various districts in the Borana Zone, located in the south of Oromia Regional State. Borana Zone is one of the zones in Oromia frequently affected by drought as a result of more erratic rainfall and increasing temperatures. The project aims to secure a safe and reliable sustainable water supply for households and livestock in Elweya, Dubluk and Yabelo districts covering 62 villages and 12 tows with a population of 308,576 people. In the first phase, the project will develop well fields in the Ade Galchet and Sarite areas as well as pumps and transmission to booster reservoirs and a main reservoir at Simu hilltop from which the village and town water supplies will be sourced.
The Borana region is a semi-arid region with annual rainfall between 450 and 600 mm/a. The region is highly vulnerable to climate change: Ethiopia has suffered eight major droughts in the course of the past 15 years. Droughts in Borana have been linked to conflict as well as to health risks related to dependence on unprotected water sources. The livelihood of the local population is predominantly based on agriculture – accounting for 80% of employment - with both mobile pastoralist and sedentary, crop farming communities. The Global Centre on Adaptation is contributing $ 300,000 to the programme towards an improved understanding of climate risks and improved resilience of the catchments to climate change.