Defining the Geopolitics of a Thirsty WorldSM
Successful Cooperation in the Niger Basin

As reported by AFP, not all water politics are tales of animosity or conflict – there are some examples of successful cooperation. West African heads of state recently adopted a 5.5 billion-euro (8.6-billion-dollar), 20-year rescue plan to save the Niger River from extinction and guarantee the future of 110 million people. As the article noted:

“…The green light for the vast project was given by members of the Niger Basin Authority (ABN), an intergovernmental group comprising the nine countries irrigated by Africa’s third longest river and its tributaries, specifically Burkina Faso, Benin, Cameroon, Chad, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger and Nigeria.

The programme will consist of reafforesting, rehabilitating plains and removing silt from the 4,200 kilometre (2,600 mile) long Niger snaking through Guinea, Mali, Niger and Nigeria.

…The Niamey summit also adopted a Warter Charter to ensure that ABN members share the river’s resources fairly and responsibly.

When this is implemented, countries will only be allowed to use water to satisfy people’s most basic needs. Any nation found to be consuming excessive amounts of water or polluting the river will be fined or taxed accordingly.

…At the start of the summit, Niger’s President Mamadou Tandja expressed his concern over the drastic fall of up to 55 percent in the river’s flow over the past 20 years, mainly due to climate change and growing populations.

He warned that “the challenges and stakes” of improving the Niger river basin were now larger than ever and carried a heavy potential price for the future security of both food and water resources.

The existence of Africa’s third largest river after the Nile and Congo is seriously threatened by drought and silting up drastically reducing its flow….”



This entry was posted on Wednesday, May 7th, 2008 at 2:41 pm and is filed under Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Niger River, Niger River Basin.  You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.  You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site. 

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