IWRM and Climate Change Resilience in Transboundary Basins, West African stakeholders to work together

Project to support the operationalization of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) to strengthen resilience to climate change in transboundary basins in West Africa (PAGIREC- AO), this is the title of the funding request whose validation of the detailed request motivated the restricted technical regional workshop organized on December 14 and 15, 2023 in Ouagadougou by the Department of Agriculture, Water Resources and Environment (DAREN) of the WAEMU Commission, in collaboration with the Water Resources Management Centre (CGRE) of the ECOWAS Commission and the Global Water Partnership in West Africa (GWP-WA).

PAGIREC- AO, for a total estimated amount of five (5) million Euros, proposes four (04) areas of intervention: (i) support for the establishment and/or strengthening of cooperation frameworks and mechanisms at the level of transboundary basins and sub-basins; (ii) promotion of regional dialogue to prevent the major risks of chronic water shortages in major urban agglomerations ; (iii) promoting innovative approaches to water resource allocation between competing users and sectors in a context of water scarcity and climate change; and (iv) setting up a capacity-building program in the field of mobilizing innovative financing (mixed, climate financing, etc.). 

This project proposal stems from the results/conclusions of the regional workshop on the operationalization of IWRM at river basin level in West Africa: approaches, achievements, challenges and best practices, jointly organized from November 30 to December 03, 2021 by the WAEMU and ECOWAS Commissions in collaboration with GWP-WA and the Secretariat of the United Nations Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (UNECE).

Participants included representatives of the WAEMU and ECOWAS Commissions, experts from Transboundary Basin Organizations, GWP-WA, CILSS and resource persons.

The restricted regional technical workshop enabled participants to familiarize themselves with the provisional version of the PAGIREC-AO detailed request for funding, and to amend and enrich its content with a view to its finalization and submission to the Financial Partner.

The official ceremony was held under the patronage of the Commissionaire in charge of the WAEMU's Department of Agriculture, Water Resources and the Environment (DAREN). He was represented by his Director of Cabinet, Mme LOMPO, who noted that in West Africa, almost ¾ of the WAEMU area, i.e. 74%, is located in transboundary river basins. "Of the fifteen (15) transboundary river basins inventoried, 45% are covered by WAEMU states. This is why strengthening water governance in WAEMU member states will contribute to improving water management in the region's shared basins", she added.

The Executive Secretary of GWP-WA, Mr. K. Armand HOUANYE, for his part, underlined his organization's readiness to support and accompany all initiatives by regional players aimed at achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in West Africa. "I would like to thank the DAREN for the collaboration developed since 2021, which has enabled us to carry out numerous activities together, the latest of which was the Regional IWRM Forum, which led to the selection of six organizations to carry the WAEMU IWRM voice to the next World Water Forum in Bali, Indonesia".

The Acting Director of the ECOWAS CGRE, Mr Kouassi Bougounou Djeri-Allassani, expressed his satisfaction with the collaboration between the two Commissions and GWP-WA, and the need to strengthen it.