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ECOWAS – WRCC Selection of priority projects of major hydraulic infrastructures

Publié : Février 2012

 In West Africa, there is a need to develop large hydraulic infrastructure projects that enable the development of irrigation and energy and the improvement of the overall standard of living of the populations.


Such projects often involve several countries and contribute to regional integration if they are carried out with dialogue through the transboundary basin organizations, according to internationally recognized environmental and social standards.


The Water Resources Coordination Center (WRCC) of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has organized a dialogue on major infrastructure projects in the water sector.


In this context, WRCC entrusted in 2009 the International Office for Water (IOWater) with the evaluation of the mechanisms implemented by the water resources management bodies, with an analysis of three existing dams or under construction : Bui (Volta Basin), Manantali (Senegal) and Kandadji (Niger).


Meanwhile, a panel of experts produced recommendations for best practices for the development of sustainable hydraulic infrastructures in West Africa.


On the request of WRCC, IOWater established a list of large priority hydraulic projects, having a significant impact on regional integration, during a second phase completed in 2011. The selection was made using a multi- criteria analysis tool designed by IOWater.


Five criteria related to transboundary projects, economic integration, food security, hydropower production and environmental and social impacts were used in the analysis.


Eight infrastructures were selected : Adjarala (Mono Basin), Bureya (Senegal), Digan (Gambia), Fomi (Niger), Kaleta (Konkouré) Noumbiel (Volta), Saltinho (Koliba-Corubal) and Sambangalou (Gambia).


The choice of priority infrastructures and the Expert Panel’s recommendations were validated during a regional workshop in July 2011 by the fifteen ECOWAS countries and the West African transboundary river basin organizations.


The workshop recommended the implementation for each of the selected infrastructures of specific institutional and financial mechanisms for sharing costs and benefits between the countries concerned.


Carte : Large dams in West Africa