Responding to climate change in the energy and water sectors in Djibouti

At a glance

2015-04-01 to 2018-09-30
Active programmes
Min. of Housing, Town Planning, Environment and Land Use Planning (MHUE), Min. of Energy in charge of Natural Resources (MERN), Djibouti Agency for Energy Efficiency (ADME), Min. of Agriculture, Fisheries and Livestock in charge of Water Resources (MAPE-RH)
Total budget
3,00 M€
GCCA priority area(s)

Djibouti faces various environmental problems, including water stress and desertification, which are likely to be exacerbated by climate change. In terms of adaptation, the main problem is the management of water resources, which are threatened by strong anthropogenic pressures resulting from population growth and urbanisation. The modification of the hydrological regime, combined with the rise in sea level, aggravates the salinisation process of the aquifer that is underway (in particular that which supplies the city of Djibouti) and the degradation of water quality. This phenomenon contributes to making water supply difficult for human consumption, but also for agriculture and ecological needs.
Djibouti is also committed to engage in the implementation of mitigation measures, particularly in the renewable energy sector, but currently lacks the institutional and human capacity to benefit from international funding. The country has also launched a process to promote energy efficiency, through the establishment (during 2013) of a Djibouti Energy Management Agency (ADME), and is seeking institutional and technical support for this purpose.

GCCA's action programme
Geographical scope
Initial GCCA/GCCA+ contribution
3,000,000.00 €

Overall objective

Strengthen Djibouti’s capacity to be actively involved in the response to climate change.

Specific objective

Develop an enabling institutional framework for climate change mitigation (in the energy sector), and acquire practical experience in the field of adaptation notably through the efficient reuse of treated wastewater.


The Republic of Djibouti benefits from strengthened capacities and implements pilot activities in the field of energy efficiency and access to sources of finance (including carbon markets) for the development of renewable energies.

This component includes institutional support for the designated national authority (DNA) and the Djibouti Agency for Energy Efficiency (ADME) for the training of staff; the definition of a 3-year or 5-year plan for promoting energy efficiency; the construction of a pilot bioclimatic building allowing to test technical options for improving the energy performance of buildings; and the preparation and implementation of a communication and education strategy and plan to raise awareness of the benefits associated with energy savings and providing training on available technical options. Furthermore, the capacities of project promoters, DNA staff and staff of the Ministry of Energy, Water and Natural Resources is strengthened in relation to access carbon markets and other financial instruments available to support the development of renewable energies.

The adaptive capacity of communities established in the vicinity of the Douda wastewater treatment station is enhanced through support for water-stressed agricultural activities, access to treated wastewater, and sustainable use of this water for agro-sylvo-pastoral activities and ecological purposes.

A feasibility study has been undertaken for the creation of a 25 hectare micro-irrigation scheme fed by treated water from the Douda wastewater treatment plant. Based on its results, a pilot project for the creation of an irrigation network has been implemented, including the physical development of the irrigation scheme; the setting up of farmers originating from Douda on 0.5 hectare plots; their training with regard to irrigation scheme management and the setting up of a cooperative for this purpose; and support for initial production and management activities.

Furthermore, support has been given to the small farmers established on non-irrigated land parcels in the neighbouring Douda market gardens to reduce their vulnerability to climate change and climate risks, in particular water stress and the salinisation of water and soils. This includes the strengthening of capacities with regard to crop selection, the use of improved and sustainable farming techniques, water and soil management, the acquisition and management of inputs, crop marketing, etc.; and access to micro-finance.

In both cases, specific emphasis was placed on the consolidation, management and dissemination of knowledge and good practices emerging from implementation.

A feasibility study has also been elaborated bearing on the reuse of treated wastewater not allocated to agricultural purposes in the nature conservation area created between Haramous and Douda, more specifically with regard to the development of reed-planted wetlands along the coast, the regeneration of natural vegetation and the financing of income-generating activities.

Achievements to date

The programme "Global Climate Change Alliance in Djibouti - Responses to climate change in the energy and water sectors" has enabled the implementation of a multidimensional programme of technical assistance to the Ministries of Agriculture, Environment and Energy and its Agency for Energy Management (ADME) to strengthen their capacities and the Djiboutian regulatory framework in the areas of wastewater reuse for agricultural purposes, energy management in the building sector, energy planning, implementation of the Douda Natural Reserve (RND) and carbon finance. The project allowed the establishment of an agricultural perimeter of more than 20ha irrigated with treated wastewater from the Douda wastewater treatment plant. It also enabled the design and launch of the construction of a bioclimatic building with exemplary value for the building sector in Djibouti and finally the official delimitation of the natural reserve of Douda, its feasibility and environmental impact study and the start of its fence.

Numerous seminars and workshops were organized to promote and disseminate the results of the project. A communication programme for the benefit of all project stakeholders has also been produced.

Challenges and lessons learned

Experience so far with regard to cooperation in the water and energy sectors shows that awareness raising and education on the efficient use of natural resources, targeting the population at large as well as political and administrative leaders, is needed to ensure effective implementation of climate change adaptation and mitigation activities. A better understanding of the issues, a gradual change in attitudes, and public buy-in for goals and new practices that are perceived as relevant and beneficial are necessary to ensure the sustainability of the activities initiated under the GCCA project.

The planned activities have been finalised, namely the completion of the construction of the bioclimatic building, the closure of the Douda nature reserve, the implementation of the communication plan and support for the farmers of the Douda cooperative. This project is followed by a second phase of GCCA+ in Djibouti starting in 2019 .