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African Development Bank (AfDB) Leadership in the Safeguarding the Niger River

The Niger River is one of the important economic pillars of the nine member countries of the NBA. To date, seven of the nine countries of the Basin are among the 20 poorest countries in the world. Nearly 85% of the population of the basin live in rural areas where food security and social well-being depend directly on the resources of the basin, in particular water resources. The development challenges facing the Niger Basin are: i) the increase of the population and the vulnerable groups: the Basin is populated by about 160 million of people with an average annual growth of 2.8 percent per year. The majority of the population lives in Nigeria, which more than 80 million inhabitants derive their livelihoods directly from the Basin. More than half of this population is made up mostly of women and the children under the age of 15; and ii) Water erosion and the silting constitute a serious threat for the ecosystems of the Niger River, on the one hand, for the flow of the water downstream and the maintenance of the biological balances and natural ecosystems, and, on the other part, for the habitats and all the socio-economic activities of the basin.

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Publication°3 PIDACC/NB- Niger component: Restoration of the vegetation cover of the degraded lands through the implementation of the WSC/DSR sub-projects

Like the other member countries of the Niger Basin, Niger is faced with the negative effects of the climate change with its repercussions on the agro-silvo-pastoral and fisheries activities, thereby weakening communities, especially those living in rural areas. It is in this context that the Niger Basin Authority (NBA) with the support of the African Development Bank (AfDB) and its partners financed a program of the large-scale bringing together its nine (9) Member States entitled “ Program Integrated for Development and Adaptation to Climate Change in the Niger Basin (PIDACC/NB)”
The Niger Component of PIDACC/NB aims to contribute to improving the resilience of the populations and the ecosystems in the Niger Basin through the sustainable management of the natural resources. Specifically, the Program aims to: (i) reduce the process of the silting of the Niger River, (ii) improve the population's ability to adapt to climate change, (iii) improve the management of the natural resources and the integrated management of the ecosystems, the protection of the biodiversity and restoration of the soil fertility.
Thus, within the framework of the implementation of the activities of the Programme, the European Union (EU) and the Global Environment Facility/Niger Basin Authority (GEF/NBA) support the State interventions to improve the climate resilience of the vulnerable communities and the sustainable management of the watersheds. This support, oriented towards the implementation of the Water and Soil Conservation/Soil Defense and Restoration (WSC/DSK) activities, aims to protect resources and ecosystems, fight against erosion and silting, sustainable forest management, biodiversity protection, water pollution control and the capacity building.

The execution of the WSC/DSK works is done in the form of the sub-projects developed by the beneficiary communities with the support of the executives of the Technical Services of the Environment. After their preparation, the sub-projects are the first submitted for validation by the Regional Technical Monitoring Committees (RTMC) and then for the approval of the Bank. The implementation of these various sub-projects is based on a participatory and inclusive approach that takes gender into account.
Thus, as part of the implementation of the 2020, 2021 and 2022 Annual Work Plans and Budget (AWPB), twenty-three (23) sub-projects financed by the EU and the GEF/NBA have been implemented.
Compared to the financing of the European Union, it concerned thirteen (13) sub-projects including five (5) of dunes fixation totaling 260 ha and seven (7) of the recovery of degraded lands which cover 280 ha in the department of Kollo. and one (1) land reclamation sub-project of one hundred (100) ha in the department of Gaya.
As for the GEF/NBA, there are ten (10) sub-projects including four (4) for the recovery of the degraded lands totaling 160 ha in the Communes of Bouza and Allakaye, two (2) for the fixing of dunes of 60 ha in the Commune of MĂ©hana, and four (4) other improved fallow and agroforestry sub-projects of 122 ha in the Communes of Gaya, Yellou, Bana and Bengou (department of Gaya).
Thus, the implementation of these sub-projects by the beneficiary communities is marked by an effective involvement of the gender at all stages, in particular:
- information/awareness: out of 1,648 people affected, 970 are the women, i.e. 59%;
- Establishment and training of the Village Committees for the Management of the Natural Resources (VCMNR): out of 15 committees set up, 150 members were trained, including 46 women, i.e. 31%;
- Execution of the WSC/DSK works: out of 2,036 beneficiaries participating in the works, 648 are the women, i.e. 32%.
The implementation of these sub-projects has not only made it possible to increase household income through the remuneration of the labor to the tune of CFA 131,000,000 of the amount spent for the implementation of these sub-projects but also to restore degraded lands through the seeding of the herbaceous plants, plantations and the direct sowing of the rĂ´nier nuts. A total of 187,872 seedlings were planted, 3,550 kg of herbaceous seeds sown and 10,000 rĂ´nier nuts sown.

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