Water Resources in West Africa: Launch of the New “ITTAS” project, Niamey, May 20-22, 2019


How to improve water resources management and governance in West Africa?

The new “ITTAS” project that aims at "Improving IWRM, knowledge-based management and governance of the Niger Basin and the Iullemeden-Taoudéni / Tanezrouft Aquifer System" was the subject of a launch workshop in the capital of Niger, Niamey, from May 20 to 22, 2019.

The project aims to improve knowledge of groundwater and surface water, analyze the environmental risks to transboundary groundwater, strengthen governance and consultation mechanisms, and share experiences.

It covers 11 countries, namely Algeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria and Chad. It is funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) for approximately U$ 13.5 million for a period of 5 years (2019-2023). UNDP and UNEP are the Implementing Agencies of the project. The Sahara and Sahel Observatory (OSS), the Niger Basin Authority (NBA), the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and UNESCO are the four executing Agencies of the project.

The launching workshop of the ITTAS project, chaired by Mr. Issoufou KATAMBE, Minister of Hydraulics and Sanitation of the Republic of Niger, was attended by representatives of the different affected countries. It is the effective kick-off of the project activities, the common understanding of the scope of the project, and the definition of roles and responsibilities of each actor involved in carrying out the tasks.

Like the different executing structures, the OSS presented and discussed with the participants on the programming of the activities for which it is responsible and the definition of the mechanisms for their effective implementation. 

Along with the activities of the launch workshop, OSS also participated in a restrictive working meeting of the implementation and executing Agencies of the project. It focused on understanding the institutional framework of the project and its operationalization.

The implementation of the project activities will consolidate the existing cooperation between the Niger Basin Authority - NBA and the OSS. Indeed, the NBA participated in previous projects (SAI and GICRESAIT) related to water resources led by the OSS in the region,) as a Member of the Scientific Committee of these projects.