The IDA’s Lesotho Transport Infrastructure and Connectivity project aims to improve access to social services in rural Lesotho, strengthen road safety, and improve Lesotho’s capacity to respond to crises. The core focus of the IDA credit is the construction of 35 footbridges in communities located in areas cut off from road access – particularly in the heavy rainy season (increasing in frequency and severity in some regions given climate impacts). Building resilience of the road infrastructure is a central component of the project design. Integration of climate responsive measures to address vulnerability and build resilience to sever floods and ensure safe crossing of rivers by pedestrians during the heavy rain season is a core focus. Approximately 10% of the total estimated cost of construction is expected to be associated with resilience-building measures including flood protection.
Stage of Implementation
The IDA commitment was approved in 2017 and the project is intended to close in 2023. Observational indicators against which the project will be evaluated at the close of construction include: pedestrian travel time reduction during rainy season to basic services, local agricultural markets with improved transport connectivity, and road accident reporting frequency.
- DFI: IDA lends on highly concessional terms to the world’s poorest countries – providing zero- and low-interest loans and grants. Repayments for IDA credits span 30 to 40 years and include a 5- to 10-year grace period.
- Government Agencies: The Lesotho Ministry of Public Works – Roads Directorate, and Ministry of Transport are the implementing agencies for this work. Because the transport sector is predominantly publicly owned and operated, domestic government capacity and support for implementation is critical.
- Relatively weak market conditions: IDA supports only countries with particularly challenging economic conditions (39 African countries are eligible for IDA credit). Countries are eligible for IDA funds when they have a low GNI per capital (USD 1,185 in FY 2021) and a lack of creditworthiness to borrow on market terms.
- Robust climate information: Climate data and associated analytics are critical to assess and respond to climate risks, especially in the transport sector where risks are diverse and variable even within a single project.- Strong policy environment: A strong policy environment with national adaptation planning and investment plans in place within the transport sector – across relevant jurisdictions including municipal, provincial, and national government entities is critical to facilitate project pipeline development to seek concessional finance and help ensure that projects financed deliver successful adaptation outcomes.
39 countries in Africa are eligible for IDA credit. Of these, 25 received adaptation finance from IDA in 2017-18 and in Many countries in Africa fit the IDA, though just Lesotho and Madagascar received IDA funding for adaptation projects in the transport sector.