Sustained Engagement Projects



  • Year started: 2015
  • Key Partner/s: Niger Basin Authority (NBA)

The Niger Basin covers nine countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, Niger and Nigeria. Seven of the nine countries are on the World Bank’s FY21 List of FCS.

The basin population is highly vulnerable, with 70% of its 130 million inhabitants living in rural areas amidst food insecurity due to extreme climate and rainfall variability.

Objective and Elements

The Niger River Basin Management Project strengthened the institutional framework for regional cooperation by building the Niger Basin Authority’s (NBA) institutional and organizational systems through institutional analysis and a participatory self-assessment exercise. In 2008, NBA member states signed a Water Charter, giving legal status to the 2004 Paris Declaration, which codified NBA’s role in Niger River Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM).

Project assistance to NBA’s data observatory and Decision Support System (DSS) formed the foundation for expanded information systems. Better and broader information enabled the NBA to optimize large dam investments in the Niger Basin, hydrologic models for evidence-based infrastructure planning and management, and flood forecasting systems (such as the Guinean Flood Forecast). The project facilitated the development of the Niger River Inner Delta model to understand how services provided by this wetland’s ecosystems respond to different inflow patterns. 

The CIWA-financed Niger Basin Climate Resilience Investment Plan (CRIP), developed by the Niger Basin countries, has mobilized and coordinated climate resilience investments. As part of the CRIP implementation, CIWA worked directly with countries in the basin to enable a more robust understanding of national dependence on the shared river and show how national investments can have regional benefits.

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  • Year started: 2015
  • Key Partner/s: Volta Basin Authority (VBA)

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 many basins in the continent, the Volta River Basin is faced with the challenge of balancing conservation of its natural resources with opportunities for development.

Objective and Elements

The Volta River Basin Program helped improve the Volta Basin Authority’s (VBA) capacity on transboundary water resources management. The Council of Ministers endorsed the Volta Water Charter in May 2019. VBA helped build capacities of 200 civil society organizations across six countries and offered mini-grants to projects in forestry, biodiversity, and other environmental sciences.

VBA helped build the capacity of national institutions to sustainably implement the Strategic Action Plan by facilitating dialogue, communication, and project monitoring. The project helped finalize VBA’s Communications Strategy and Plan by consulting 500 stakeholders, including civil society organizations representing women’s interests. The implementation has helped increase local stakeholder awareness through the community and rural radio outreach.

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Strategic Engagements



  • 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.

Objective and Elements

The Lake Chad Dialogue Project supported the development of an updated basin-wide conceptual groundwater model by assessing old and new information and reflecting on the basin’s current understanding. The result of the groundwater diagnostic was a basin-wide conceptual groundwater model and preliminary numerical groundwater models for the Komadougu-Yobe and Chari-Logone river sub-basins. The diagnostic also provided recommendations for future modelling efforts. LCBC now has a remote sensing-based monitoring platform for surface waters to provide a baseline of surface water information

The project also supported the development of the Lake Chad Basin Development and Climate Resilience Action Plan. It enhanced the Lake Chad Basin Commission’s capacity on data collection, sharing information, and carrying out analysis useful to the basin’s shared natural resources governance.

LCBC’s 10-year, multi-sectoral Lake Chad Development and Climate Resilience Action Plan pipeline include investments worth over US$1 billion distributed across seven priority themes. CIWA’s support to LCBC helped secure multiple new projects financed by the Bank and other partners, including the recently approved US$170m Lake Chad Region Recovery and Development Project.

A New Round of Dialogue for Lake Chad Transboundary Water Security
This programmatic analytical and advisory work aims to broaden the World Bank Water sector’s engagement in the Lake Chad region by shifting its focus from conventional transboundary waters cooperation approaches to the development of a regional water security framework. The work aims to build the analytical and institutional foundation to enhance transboundary cooperation on water security in the Lake Chad basin and catalyze national and regional investments. It will feature a consultative process with the key stakeholders in the Lake Chad basin countries and will explore linkages with major challenges such as fragility, conflict, and climate resilience. 

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

The Sahel is one of the poorest regions of 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 Code d’Ivoire, Ghana and Guinea).

Objective and Elements

CIWA currently has two initiatives in the West and Central Sahel. First, the West and Central Sahel  knowledge initiative will support a dialogue with the G5 Sahel countries (Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger) to develop a pragmatic approach and engagement options for supporting the region in the sustainable management and mobilization of transboundary water resources as a necessary foundation for broader socio-economic development.

Secondly, the Sahel Groundwater Initiative will strengthen foundations for enhanced groundwater knowledge and management capacity in the Western Sahel. The analytics and technical assistance project will focus on the three following outcomes: (i) provide solutions (including regarding gender) to remove the constraints and limitations to the use of groundwater for small-scale irrigation, (ii) review the status of groundwater assessment and exploration capacity in the Western Sahel, and (iii) facilitate regional cooperation around the development of male and female groundwater expertise in the Sahel.

The initiative supports country-level efforts in Ghana, Burkina Faso, Niger, Nigeria, and Cote d’Ivoire to compile and analyze the available information on water resources management and identify critical gaps and measures to address them.

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