Cities Alliance Launches Climate Adaptation Projects to Build Coastal Communities’ Resilience

The approach enables the urban poor to make a measurable impact by improving their access to basic services, enhancing their quality of life and creating a better work environment.

Monrovia – Cities Alliance Liberia Country Program has launched a ‘Call for Proposals’ under its Community Upgrading Fund (CUF), to support small climate adaptation projects for residents of Westpoint and King Gray in Monrovia.

By Gerald C. Koinyeneh, [email protected]

The main purpose of the initiative, according to Cities Alliance’s Infrastructure Project Manager, Fred Abankwa, is to help informal coastal communities build their resilience and better adapt to climate shocks. The initiative, presented during an inception workshop on Tuesday, Mr. Abankwa said, is part of Cities Alliance Global Program on Climate Change, Resilience and Informality funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) and the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

The CUF is a community-driven, inclusive, development initiative from Cities Alliance that provides financing for small infrastructure projects selected by the communities themselves.
The approach enables the urban poor to make a measurable impact by improving their access to basic services, enhancing their quality of life and creating a better work environment.

The official launch of the program was attended by major stakeholders including the officials of line ministries and agencies as well as representatives from benefiting communities.

Launching the projects, Cities Alliance’s Liberia Country Manager, Senjovu Andrew, joined by the Deputy Minister for urban Affairs at the Internal Affairs Ministry Paulitta C. Wea and officials of the benefiting communities said the new Call for Proposals will focus on the projects addressing the potential impacts of climate change on women, young people, vulnerable and underrepresented groups in urban poor communities. The selected projects, he said will be inclusive and create opportunities for engagement with local governments and other relevant stakeholders, and demonstrate their potential to catalyze transformational change

“At cities alliance, we are here to say that we can support with some of the meager resources we have for the community that have been selected -Westpoint and King Gray to adapt and become more resilient to climate change,” Mr. Andrew said.

Deputy Minister Wea thanked Cities Alliance and supporting partners for the program and the unique design, and called on the community members to make use of the opportunity.
“What makes the program unique is the way it is community driven. It is better that we plan with them than to plan for them because they are the ones that see the day to activities and go through the challenges and problems,” she noted.
“There are processes to all these funding. So, make sure you follow the procedures and benefit from all of these projects. Make use of the opportunity and be a blessings to your community and country at large.”
Meanwhile, the selected communities, Westpoint and King Gray are being affected by the grappling effects of climate change.

Westpoint, which is one of the largest slump areas in Liberia, is also the most vulnerable areas within Monrovia to climate hazards- coastal and storm erosion, as well as increased flooding. This has resulted to loss of livelihood as fishery sites are being washed away and other formal and informal economic activities all gone.
It has been predicted that about 300 meters of the land will be wiped out by 2050 if nothing is done.
The Township Commissioner of Westpoint, William C. Wea, speaking at the occasion, re-emphasized the community’s commitment in working with Cities Alliance to undertake a successful project.
“We want to thank Cities Alliance for the opportunity and we remain committed in working with them in ensuring that we benefit. We will work in line with the consultant to reach the bench marks,” Commissioner Wea said.

For King Gray community, coastal erosion poses a serious threat as the cemetery along the beach is eroding, fish landing site almost lost to the sea turtle and coconut trees which serve as defense mechanisms are being destroyed.
“This shows that you want things to be done in the right way. In the past, NGO will just come and start doing that own projects. But your intervention, especially with the issues of climate change which get our old people confused.”

The Cities Alliance Liberia Country Program (LCP) provides long-term, programmatic support to help Liberia realize its developmental objectives in a way that benefits the majority of the urban poor.
Launched in 2016, Cities Alliance LCP is an ambitious, multi-level urban development program that aims to improve the lives and opportunities of up to 400,000 slum dwellers in Greater Monrovia. Its strategic areas of work currently include waste management, water provision, urban governance, gender equality and resilience