Roads are a key asset for Africa - they connect villages to economic centers, people to hospitals, children to schools and goods to markets facilitating trade. This study considered 2.8 million km of roads in Sub-Saharan Africa, including new road construction outlined in the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) and assessed the impact of climate change on roads and bridges. Climate change is expected to substantially increase disruption time of the network, shorten their rehabilitation life-cycle, and increase repair and rehabilitation costs. The study evaluates the economics of engineering solutions to build resilience to climate change impacts due to flooding, precipitation, and temperature and develops a methodology to assist decision makers in identifying the most cost-effective adaptation approach, comparing the cost of inaction (reactive response) to the net cost of investments in adaptation (proactive adaptation).
- Adequate road maintenance is the most critical and most efficient way of reducing the impact of a changing climate on the road system.
- Proactive adaptation is a cost-effective option in virtually all countries in response to anticipated higher temperatures, and in at least eight countries in response to precipitation.
- Better information on the benefits of avoiding climate-related disruption can inform decisions on proactive adaptation.