Garoua in Cameroon is making significant headway with its climate action journey with CoM SSA
Published: 7 Sep 2021
Faced with the adverse impacts of climate change, including increasing temperatures and irregular rainfall, the City of Garoua in Cameroon is committed to taking climate action, with support from the Covenant of Mayors in Sub-Saharan Africa (CoM SSA). The city is in the process of completing its Sustainable Energy Access and Climate Action Plan (SEACAP), having finalised its baseline reports.
Garoua is currently setting bold sectoral targets and actions that will propel it to becoming a more sustainable and resilient city. In support of achieving this commitment, GIZ and ICLEI Africa, working together with the city, hosted a hybrid 6-day workshop at the end of May 2021, to build on the work done so far and co-create context-specific climate and energy targets and actions for each relevant sector.
To date, the city has completed its baseline reports which consist of a:
● Baseline Emissions Inventory (BEI) that identifies the major sources of the local authority’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions;
● a Risk and Vulnerability Assessment (RVA), which identifies the city’s most relevant climate hazards and which sectors and population groups are at risk;
● and an Access to Energy Assessment, which assesses the city’s energy profile.
The three baseline reports are critical for providing the data to inform the development of actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, enhance the city’s vulnerability to the impacts of climate change and improve access to secure, sustainable, affordable and reliable energy
The workshop was highly participatory, involving city officials from different departments of all three local government communes (Garoua 1, Garoua 2, Garoua 3), the administrative City of Garoua, as well as all relevant climate change and energy planning stakeholders.
Participants were divided into small groups to conduct participatory exercises followed by plenary validation discussions to identify priority sectors, targets and actions that will increase the city’s resilience to climate change by 2035, in alignment with the national climate change action plan and the results from the baseline reports. These sectoral climate and energy targets and actions are, however, yet to be approved by the city’s council.
During the workshop, participants set up a climate-resilient target for the Environment, Biodiversity and Forests sector to rehabilitate the Bénoué riverbanks. If this target is approved and implemented, it will increase biodiversity and water infiltration; prevent riverbank erosion, and prevent climate hazards such as droughts, floods and heatwaves in the heart of the city.
Garoua is challenged by access to clean water and prone to numerous waterborne diseases (whose transmission risk increases due to floods). Therefore, the city’s SEACAP also intends to target the Water and Health sector, by increasing access to clean water to help reduce, amongst other things, the spread of waterborne diseases such as Cholera and other vector-borne diseases like Malaria.
Other priority sectors for the City of Garoua include Agro Pastoral and Fisheries, Informal Settlements and Transport.
Garoua’s SEACAP is being developed in alignment with these workshops results. A final SEACAP validation meeting is scheduled to take place towards the end of the year, which will pave the way towards the implementation of the climate and energy actions prioritised by the city. In Garoua and other cities across the region, CoM SSA is thus enabling cities to take climate leadership, starting with the first step of assessing and planning for climate change.