26 nov 2020

The World Bank has appointed Royal HaskoningDHV and sub-consultants Aqualinks Research & Implementation and Weather Impact to take stock of the state of meteorology, hydrology, climate services, and early warning systems in Southern Africa, as well as to identify opportunities for regional collaboration and inform investment planning in those services.

Southern Africa is highly vulnerable to extreme climate-related events, in particular floods, drought, and cyclones. Hydrometeorological services (“hydromet services”) provide timely and adequate services for early warning and the management of weather and climate sensitive sectors of the economy, such as agriculture, hydropower, and transport services. Closer coordination and integration of policies and programmes for strengthening early warning, disaster risk reduction, as well as weather, water, and climate services is spearheaded by the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

The assignment is closely coordinated by the SADC Secretariat, the Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) Unit, and the SADC Climate Service Centre and financed through the ACP-EU Building Disaster Resilience in Sub-Saharan Africa Program, an initiative of the ACP Group of States, financed by the European Union and implemented by the World Bank / GFDRR.

Given its deep understanding of hydromet and disaster management services, the World Bank has recruited, in a competitive selection, Royal HaskoningDHV to assess the SADC’s existing climate and water services and developing a strategy by:

  • Conducting an analysis on the status of hydromet and early warning systems in Southern Africa at regional, basin, and national level,
  • Developing a guidance note for strengthening early warning systems in the region,
  • Identifying relevant universities and research institutions, and
  • Identifying the status of private sector engagement and public-private partnership arrangements for the provision of hydromet and early warning systems in Southern Africa.

This project will be instrumental in establishing a culture of safety and resilience in Southern Africa by promoting information management, innovation, and education. It will also prioritise disaster risk reduction and allow the region to better prepare for, and respond to, natural disasters. It is hoped that the findings and recommendations from this study will help to strengthen early warning and hydromet capacities in the region, particularly in view of the climate-related disasters that continue to devastate the region.