In recent years, the governments of the Sahel have committed to combat poverty and food insecurity through a significant increase in the development of irrigable areas. For GWI West Africa, this has presented a timely opportunity to analyse, alongside the relevant ECOWAS guidelines, the socio-economic results achieved on irrigated schemes associated with large dams in the West Africa region.
Books and Articles/Livres et articles
In the Republic of Guinea, the Land and Property Code does not provide all the details on the practical modalities of expropriation in the public interest and compensation of land and natural resources. This situation explains why tenure-based projects such as large dams, mines or roads deal with this issue on a case-by-case basis without always taking into account the rights of affected populations.
According to the census conducted by the Directorate of Development and Economic Analysis of the National Office for Irrigation Schemes (ONAHA), there are 85 irrigation schemes in Niger today, covering approximately 16,000 hectares and employing more than 40,000 farmers. Under the "Kandadji" programme for ecosystem regeneration and development in the Niger Valley, an additional 45,000 hectares are expected to be developed by 2030.
Large government-managed irrigation schemes in West Africa are expected to meet the ambitious rice production targets of governments and ensure the livelihoods of small scale rice producers. Functioning institutions are a prerequisite for achieving these sometimes conflicting objectives.
The work of GWI West Africa was featured in the April 2016 edition of International Water Power and Dam Construction magazine, in an article entitled: Building better dams by sharing the benefits. You can read the original article in full by clicking on the pdf below.
A major challenge for rural water supply in Africa is ensuring the operation of water points in a sustainable manner. With a view to helping local governments and communities to ensure sustainable access to water and sanitation, between 2008 and 2012 GWI West Africa developed a series of practical guides to enable beneficiaries and key stakeholders to make informed decisions in relation to the choice of technology and water supply systems that best meets their community's needs.
Over 150 large dams have been built in West Africa over the last 50 years. Many more are in the planning stages to meet the region’s demands for energy, water and food and their reservoirs will displace many thousands of local people. Success in resettling affected people and in rebuilding their livelihoods has been mixed in the region.
This report is based on the main lessons and recommendations from three case studies analysing the strategies, aspirations and constraints of the various types of farmers living around the dams of Bagré (Burkina Faso), Sélingué (Mali) and Niandouba/Confluent (Senegal). The research, initiated by the Global Water Initiative (GWI) and funded by the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, aims to contribute to ongoing national and regional discussions on the policies and programmes needed to improve rice cultivation in dam-irrigated perimeters and to support farmers’ livelihoods.
In 2008 GWI began a sustainable sanitation project in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali, Niger and Senegal. We focused primarily on implementing ‘demonstration latrines’ in rural areas, where the culture of open defecation (OD) and non-hygienic disposal of children’s faeces was widespread. However, demonstration latrines (particularly the government promoted Ventilated Improved Pit latrine) proved ineffective in terms of cost, sustainability and replication.
Municipal Water Days are an opportunity for fruitful 2-way communication between local people and their elected officials. This document describes in detail the successes and challenges of organising municipal water days in the Komondjari province of Burkina Faso. GWI piloted an Inter-municipal Water Day, as well as holding a Cleanliness Day where a group of women and young people cleaned the village thoroughly and gave hand-washing demonstrations.