WEST AND CENTRAL AFRICA

The future of development in West and Central Africa will depend on the management of transboundary waters, both surface and groundwater. CIWA has pivoted to strategic engagements in the G5 Sahel countries and selected engagements with adjacent states for both groundwater and surface water knowledge and management, policy actions, and investments. It is also preparing to top up its sustained support to the Lake Chad Basin by focusing on the development of a transformational regional water security framework.

Sustained Support

THE SAHEL GROUNDWATER INITIATIVE

Context

  • Year started: 2020
  • Key Partner/s: Multiple Water Resources Management (WRM) organizations

Lake Chad provides water to more than 30 million people living in the four countries surrounding it – Chad, Cameroon, Niger and Nigeria – making it a highly significant resource. The basin has one of the highest global concentrations of extreme poverty and is experiencing protracted high-intensity conflict.

Objective and Elements

The Sahel Groundwater Initiative will strengthen foundations for enhanced groundwater knowledge and management capacity in the Western Sahel countries of Ghana, Burkina Faso, Niger, Nigeria, and Cote d’Ivoire. The analytical and technical assistance project is focusing on three outcomes: providing solutions to remove constraints and limitations on the use of groundwater for small-scale irrigation, reviewing the status of groundwater assessment and exploration capacity in Western Sahel, and facilitating regional cooperation around the development of groundwater expertise in the Sahel.

CIWA produced a gap analysis and typology on groundwater-dependent ecosystems with recommendations to fill data gaps as well as identification of existing barriers to gender equality, including in access to groundwater for irrigation, groundwater management activities, and careers in the hydrogeology field.

LAKE CHAD TRANSBOUNDARY COOPERATION

Context

  • Year started: 2013
  • Key Partner/s: Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC)

Lake Chad provides water to more than 30 million people living in the four countries surrounding it – Chad, Cameroon, Niger, and Nigeria – making it a highly significant resource. The Basin has one of the highest global concentrations of extreme poverty and is experiencing protracted high-intensity conflict, making it one of the most challenging places to govern.

Objective and Elements

CIWA completed the Lake Chad Dialogue Project,which developed a basin-wide conceptual groundwater model, and is supporting a new round of dialogue under the Lake Chad Transboundary Water Security technical cooperation, which will develop a transformational regional water security framework. This approach will feature a consultative process with key Basin stakeholders and will explore linkages between water security and major challenges such as fragility, conflict, and violence (FCV) and climate change. It will assess the current state of water security and transboundary cooperation and then catalyze national and regional investments.

CIWA also supported preparation of the Lake Chad Development and Climate Resilient Action Plan, which helped develop the design of a large IDA-funded regional investment program for recovery and stabilization (PROLAC), approved by the World Bank in 2020. 

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IMPROVING WATER RESOURCES MANAGEMENT IN WEST AND CENTRAL SAHEL

Context

  • Year started: 2019
  • Key Partner/s: Multiple Water Resources Management (WRM) organizations

The Volta basin spreads over six riparian West African countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Mali, and Togo. The basin is mainly in Burkina Faso and Ghana – 43% and 42% of the total basin area, respectively. Like The Sahel is one of the poorest regions and has the lowest levels of human capital in the world. The largest river basins of the region (including Niger, Senegal, and Volta) are shared by some countries not in the Sahel eco-climatic zones, such as Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, and Guinea. The region is facing worsening droughts from climate change. In the Niger River Basin, for example, 70 percent of people live with food insecurity because of climate variability.

Objective and Elements

The Improving Water Resources Management in West and Central Sahel technical cooperation is a three-year initiative that aims to improve water resources management by identifying pragmatic investments and policy actions and addressing critical knowledge and capacity gaps. 

CIWA completed a review of the World Bank’s engagement in transboundary waters in West Africa over two decades and a diagnostic of water resources issues in Burkina Faso. The technical cooperation is developing a framework for discussions between Ghana and development partners on investment priorities. It is also conducting a rapid sector review and conceptualization of an integrated water security and services program in Cote d’Ivoire and a rapid analysis of water security challenges and recommendations for engagements on regional security. It recommended small-scale and nature-based solutions for water storage in Western Sahel and completed a preliminary diagnostic of civil society organizations (CSOs), with the goal of involving them to reach out to, and empower, vulnerable and socially excluded groups to get involved in decisions around water resources. 

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DISCOVER OUR PUBLICATIONS

Watch, read and listen more on CIWA’s engagements in West and Central Africa.

PODCAST

Kone Saramatou, Director of Hydrology at the Ministry of Hydraulic Works in Côte d’Ivoire, walks us through the Western African country’s experience in being a part of regional cooperative efforts involving transboundary waters management. Listen.

BLOG

The Cooperation in International Waters in Africa (CIWA)-funded Sahel Groundwater Initiative, a technical assistance program that aims to strengthen groundwater knowledge and management capacity in the Western Sahel region, focuses on three outcomes. Read More.

BLOG

Several factors led the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) request for the Cooperation in International Waters in Africa (CIWA) Program’s support to generate, share and manage knowledge. Read More.

BLOG

Utilizing groundwater is undeniably essential for increasing shared prosperity in the Sahel – especially since surface water is so scarce. The World bank and CIWA launched The Sahel Groundwater Initiative. Read More.

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