The way roads are now built often causes considerable damage and undermines climate resilience. Roads cause erosion, sedimentation and flooding – thus worsening the effect of storms and droughts. Investigation shows that typically there are 13 - 25 problem spots along a 10 kilometers stretch of road.
This does not need to be. Roads can be turned around into instruments of climate resilience. Roads can be used to systematically harvest water and to mitigate floods. This can be done with modest additional investments as is already done at scale in some countries. In Ethiopia more than 1 Million people have benefitted from the road water harvesting programmes. Managing water with roads can bring income increases of more than 30 %, increase the resilience of local communities to droughts, and minimize road damages.
Roads have a major impact on climate resilience because they determine the way water moves across the terrain: roads impede the flow of water, concentrate it in a few places or roads may convey water and act as a drain. On the other hand, water from roads can be used for multiple productive uses to the benefits of rural communities.
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