The overarching objective of the LG-ACT Project is to build local capacity for enhanced water resource governance in the context of a changing climate. Project interventions are categorized into three component based on three specific objectives: 1) improve the capacities of elected local administrators and civil servants to fulfil parish water provision service; 2) increase participation in the development, allocation and monitoring of freshwater use in a changing climate; and 3) strengthen the network of Parish Development Committee (PDC) and Community Development Committees (CDCs) to enhance citizen participation in local governance and sustainable development planning.
- Component 1 focuses on the establishment of an integrated water management system in Westmoreland to meet rural demand for reliable and safe potable water supply and effective urban drainage systems in a changing climate. This effort will involve: 1) technical assistance for effective planning for urban drainage design, water safety, management of community water systems, adaptive system design and service provision; training of local elected officials and LA staff using knowledge transfer approaches such as peer-to-peer learning and twinning with LAs in other countries.
- Component 2 focuses on promoting an inclusive environment for water access, and local ownership of project solutions, including: 1) upgrade of existing rainwater harvesting schemes, and optimization of total storage capacity to meet supply needs in dry periods; 2) improvement of the structural integrity of rainwater collection and storage systems to withstand impacts from extreme weather events; 3) integration of filtration and chlorination elements to improve the safety of freshwater supply and to improve equitable water supply during dry periods; and 4) systematic tank maintenance and water quantity and quality monitoring to ensure sufficient quantities of safe fresh water and to prevent pollution due to sanitation practices from undermining downstream freshwater stocks during climate-induced water scarcity. It also includes training community operators to manage water systems.
- Component 3 targets empowering citizen to become more involved in local governance and increasing social accountability by building the capacity of the local government structure to implement inclusive, participatory governance that is accountable to all citizens. It involves, providing technical assistance to improve institutional governance, streamlining operational arrangements within CDCs, DACs, and WPDC to manage pilot water supplies rehabilitated under Component 2; capacity building in advocacy and grant cycle management to support long term sustainability of interventions; improving awareness of the local government reform framework, facilitating access to social accountability tools, and implementing a Community Capacity Building Small Grants Programme to support initiatives for citizen involvement and social accountability in local governance.
The European Union has provided a grant of €300,000 to implement activities over 27 months. Expected outcomes include: 1) enhanced local governance, service provision, and local sustainable development that meets citizen demands; 2) improved institutional capacity to promote and enforce climate-resilient freshwater management in all communities served by MWS; and, 3) strengthened local awareness and ownership of integrated, climate-resilient freshwater resource management.
The LG-ACT Project solutions form part of strategies being employed by the Westmoreland Municipal Corporation to advance local sustainable development; including increasing the involvement of local people in setting the priorities, scope and type of development within local jurisdictions. Project outcomes will contribute to progressing actions geared at reducing climate change risks and vulnerability, by building local capacity to adapt to climate change impacts on the local water sector. With a strong capacity building focus, this intervention supports multiple national environment and development legislation, policies and action plans and will enhance local capacity to develop and implement governance strategies necessary for effective water service provision, and adaptation to climate change.