Tuesday, 27 March 2012 10:31

The Water Resources Development and Sustainable Ecosystems Management Programme in the Niger Basin (WRDSEM-P/NB) is an initiative of the NBA and its member countries for finding solutions to the energy, food, natural resources degradation problems in the Niger basin. With a twelve-year lifespan and a 500 million of USD budget, the Program is aligned with the Support to Regional Integration strategy of the World Bank which Bank is the main donor.
The first phase covers five years (2008-2013) with a 186 million USD budget. It is implemented in five countries, namely Guinea, Mali, Niger, Benin, and Nigeria.
The three (03) components of the Program are: (1) strengthening institutions and building the capacities of NBA/member countries; (2) the rehabilitation, optimization, and development of regional infrastructures; (3) the sustainable management of priority degraded ecosystems and the rehabilitation of small scale hydraulic infrastructures.

The activities of the project are implemented in line with the following five principles:
1.    Sensitization and participatory planning;
2.    The conduct of technical studies (PS/DEP/BD), and of environmental and social studies (ES, ESIA, RAP). Their validation is a prerequisite to the follow-up of the actions;
3.    The formalization, by ways of contracts, of the implementation of the activities with consultants, study firms, suppliers, enterprises, NGOs and beneficiaries;
4.    The surveillance and monitoring of works;
5.    Environmental and social monitoring.


The WRDSEM-P/NB aims at improving regional coordination, the development and sustainability of the management of the water resources of the Niger basin. More specifically, the Programme aims at:
1.    Improving regional institutional coordination for the development and management of the Niger Basin water resources by strengthening both the regulatory framework (Water Charter, the Annex to the Water Charter on the protection of the environment, Water Regulations, etc.), and the institutional framework (Panel of Independent Experts, Permanent Technical Committee, etc.) at the level of the basin;
2.    Improving the performances of hydropower stations by rehabilitating the Kainji and Jebba dams in Nigeria;  
3.    Strengthening irrigated agriculture and the development of traditional fishing in Benin, Niger, Mali, and Guinea;
4.    Improving the management of watersheds by developing agroforestry, reclaiming degraded land, and protecting banks in Benin, Niger, Mali, and Guinea;
5.    Setting technical, environmental and social studies of major infrastructures of a regional character to international standards, especially the Fomi (Guinea) and Kandadji (Niger) hydropower dams, so as to raise their financing.

They are:
-¬†¬† ¬† coming into force of the Water Charter as on 19th July, 2010 and the adoption, in 2011, of its Annex N¬į1 on the Protection of¬† the Environment;
-    The setting up and operationalization of the NBA Panel of Independent Experts meant to give specific technical opinions on issues relating to major infrastructures in the Niger Basin;
-    The development of a computer software (SESAME ©) for planning, monitoring, and evaluating the activities of the Programme which is available online;
-    The realization of technical studies (PS, DED, BD) and environmental and social studies (ES, ESIA, RAP) in accordance with the provisions of the framework documents of the WRDSEM environmental and social safeguard (CGES, CPRP) of all the subprojects, about one hundred studies conducted;
-    The acquisition of machine tools for the mechanical and electrical workshops, and of spare parts including priority valves and oil deflector for the Jebba (Nigeria) hydropower station, which helps to ensure the availability of 758 MW;
-    The rehabilitation of the dissipation channel of the flood weir and the tightness of the auxiliary dam 3 of the Jebba dam;
-    The setting up to the international standard of all the environmental and social studies of the Kandadji dam in Niger which enabled the World Bank to engage in the financing of the project;
-    The rehabilitation of the Djambala (Niger) irrigation scheme for an area of 689 ha;
-    The protection of forests and the development of agroforestry (1,790 ha), as well as the development of 1,500 ha of irrigation scheme in Benin (Malanville and Karimama);
-    The stabilization, claiming and restoration of 8,730 ha of degraded land in the regions of Tillabery and Dosso in Niger, using a participatory approach;
-    the fishing of 1,000 ha of water points to produce 100 tons of fish per year in average and removing the weed from 15 ha of water points;
-    the regeneration of 550 ha of bourgou fields for restoring pasture and the building of  five (05) bourgou storage barns in the region of Mopti in Mali  
In view of the gains and intermediate results achieved at this level of the implementation of phase 1 of WRDSEM (APL1) and in line with the conclusions of the regional workshop held in Abidjan in April 2012 recommending the sequencing of the preparation of WRDSEM phase 2, the World Bank, NBA, and the Niger Government have developed Phase A2 (APL 2A).
Thus, in September 2012, a loan Agreement for Niger (200 million USD) and a grant agreement for NBA (3 million USD) were signed and they came into force in March 2013. In addition, the World Bank is providing a supplementary support of 55.3 million USD within the framework of the covering of the costs induced by the suspension, in July 2013, of the Kandadji dam civil engineering works.
In total, the World Bank, through WRDSEM phase 2, is contributing to the financing of the Kandadji (Niger) multipurpose dam and of the NBA for a cumulated amount of about 260 million USD.
Finally, the implementation of WRDSEM is ongoing and, in the end, all the expected results will be attained and even more may be reached for some of the subprojects, and this is particularly true for the case of turbines n¬į 5, 6, and 12, that of the auxiliaries of the Kainji dam in Nigeria, which will ensure a supplementary production of 320 MW as from April 2015, the development of about 2,000 ha in the plain of Diambacourou, and the mechanic protection of the banks in Sofara and Diondori, in the region of Mopti (Mali) for the production of rice, the realization of the Theim dam in Tillabery in Niger.

Coordinator: M. DOFFOU Hilaire