The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has approved a technical assistance grant to Belize to help make the country’s water sector less vulnerable to climate change impacts.

“Investing in the water sector is critical to the economic and social development of our borrowing member countries, including Belize. This grant reinforces CDB’s commitment to helping the Region respond to the new challenge climate change presents to water security,” said Andrew Dupigny, director of projects (acting), CDB.

In Belize, where climate change impacts threaten the water sector, Belize Water Services Limited (BWS) must take actions to improve resilience and integrate climate change considerations in its operations.

The grant from CDB will help finance consultancy services to support BWS’ efforts to:

• develop a climate risk and vulnerability assessment (CRVA) for three water systems;

• formulate an adaptation plan of action responding to the vulnerabilities identified; and

• build the necessary capacity for BWS to conduct CRVAs of their remaining systems.

Through the grant funding, BWS staff will be trained in performing CRVAs. The training covers a range of topics such as strategies for climate change adaptation planning; identifying, characterising and prioritising climate risks; strategies for managing climate vulnerabilities; and preparation of an adaptation plan of action.

In 2014, an assessment of the water sector in the Caribbean funded by CDB showed that a more standardised assessment, monitoring and reporting process is needed to make the water and sanitation sector in Belize more resilient to climate change impacts.

Grant funding for this project totals US$134,000 and comes from the Bank’s Special Funds Resources.