Radio is arguably one of the most important, cost-effective sources of information for the majority of rural farmers in Africa. Along with farmer field listening groups and multi-stakeholder groups agri-educational radio programming addresses the training needs of smallholders by establishing a dialogue directly with rural farming populations, delivering live, relevant and real-time updates on issues […]
[INTERVIEWER] Dr. Mohammad Shamsudduha or “Shams”, GroFutures Project Manager: thank you Professor Nazoumou for taking the time to discuss your involvement in GroFutures and how your work in the Iullemmeden Basin is making an impact on the government policies and practices of the water resources development and management in Niger.
[INTERVIEWEE] Professor Nazoumou or “Yahaya”: I am a Professor of Hydrogeology at the Université Abdou Moumouni de Niamey. I coordinate the IB team with IRD (France) and colleagues from Nigeria to achieve the project goals. I am also an advisor on climate change at the Ministry of Planning and Local Development and currently advise the Government of Niger on matters related to climate change so that development plans and activities can improve the resilience of communities to the impacts of climate change in Niger, in rural areas in particular.
Shams: can you please expand on your role and activities of the department?
Yahaya: Under the Climate Investment Fund, the Niger Government in coordination with the African Development Bank, the World Bank and key Nigerien stakeholders, has initiated a Pilot Programme for Climate Resilience (PPCR) called the Strategic Program for Climate Resilience. Niger will receive some US$110 million in grants and concessional loans from PPCR to strengthen capacity in the sectors of agriculture and livestock in Niger. These efforts also include activities strengthening the development of science informing strategies that improve resilience. These activities are aligned to GroFutures vision of establishing a Network of African Groundwater Observatories that includes the Iullemmeden Basin of Niger. Improving our understanding of climate change impacts on water resources is also a priority of the group. To make accessible global climate projections data from large global-scale climate models and to develop regional scale models will facilitate the development of climate–resilient, land and water management programmes.
Shams: I am aware that you represented the Government of Niger at meetings of the IPCC (Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change) in Paris (2015) and Marrakech (2016). Can you share your experiences at these high-profile meetings?
Yahaya: Yes, I am member of a Niger Government’s team on climate change. I first represented the Government of Niger in 2014 at the Lima Climate Change Conference (COP20), and then attended the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris (COP21) and Marrakech (COP22). My role in these high-profile meetings was to demonstrate how Niger seeks to achieve resilience to climate change and implement adaptation plans, and how the government programmes are trying to reach its goals in reducing climate change impacts. In 2016, as the President of the Scientific Committee, I organised a meeting in Marrakech as a side event to the Climate Change Conference to showcase Niger government’s programmes and activities in terms of climate adaptation and resilience in rural areas. In that event, the President of Niger as well as key stakeholders including international donor agencies such as World Bank and African Development Bank were present. Time for that side event was limited to an hour but within that short period key participants including myself discussed Niger Government’s experiences in the adaptation strategies for climate change. It was a good opportunity for me to mention GroFutures and how groundwater-fed irrigation can be developed in Niger where surface water is limited and highlight the greater resilience of groundwater resources to climate change.
Shams: Have there been any follow-up activities since the meeting in Marrakech?
Yahaya: Following the UN Climate Change Conference in Marrakech (COP22), the President of Niger asked the Ministry of Environment to develop a proposal for the Green Climate Fund. Subsequently, the World Bank has asked the Niger Government to develop a much bigger proposal integrating development, research and policy. So currently, I am working with the ministry to develop the proposal and I am taking the opportunity to link this to GroFutures.
from The World Bank
- People in southern Africa are largely dependent on groundwater shared between countries and communities for health and well-being, food production, and economic growth.
- As climate variability alters the amount of surface water that is available, people in the region are increasingly turning to groundwater, which is already challenged by threats of depletion and pollution.
- With CIWA support, the Southern African Development Community has established the Groundwater Management Institute to better understand the region’s needs and manage the hidden resource together.
Thanks to additional support from NERC at the beginning of 2017, some of the world’s leading experts on groundwater and poverty were brought together to test the assumptions that we make about how much we know and understand about the links between groundwater access and poverty. Does improving groundwater access reduce poverty? Or are their cases where it can increase disparities between rich and poor? There is a lack of data and evidence to make firm conclusions and this challenges the research teams in UPGro and beyond to challenge their assumptions.
Part of the rapid study explored the issues around groundwater dependency of urban areas in tropical Africa. What is perhaps shocking, is how little municipal water utilities in these areas monitoring, manage and understand the groundwater resources on which millions of people – their customers – depend. Furthermore, there are indication that private, self-supply, boreholes can make it harder for water utilities to get sufficient income from wealthier users to help cross-subsidise piped connections to the poor.
For more details, on these and many other findings, download the UPGro Working Papers:
The latest output from the UPGro programme comes from Cambridge University as part of the “Hidden Crisis; Unravelling past failures for future success in Rural Water Supply” and examines the role of system-based analysis in understanding the root causes of the success or failure of rural water points. The full open paper is available to download from Practical Action; http://www.developmentbookshelf.com/doi/abs/10.3362/1756-3488.16-00022
Water point failure in sub-Saharan Africa: the value of a systems thinking approach
Thousands of water points have been installed across sub-Saharan Africa over the past four decades; however, a number have been found to be dry/low-yielding, unsafe for human consumption, and in some cases marked with appearance, taste, and odour problems. Subsequently, many users have been unable or unwilling to use these water points and have had to revert to the use of unimproved water sources.
A number of factors could be causing each of these problems, either directly or indirectly. Furthermore, these factors may be interdependent and these relationships may be marked by non-linearities, feedbacks, and time delays. Deciphering which factors need to be prioritized becomes a confusing and complex task.
To help understand the impact of different interventions, this paper proposes the adoption of systems-based analysis for looking at water point failure and introduces some of the more common qualitative and quantitative analytical tools that could be used to reveal how these complexities might be managed more effectively.
While the use of these tools within the WASH sector has been limited to date, they hold potential for helping to identify the most suitable remedies for water point failure. Examples of where such tools have been used in relation to water point failure are reviewed, and the extent to which each approach could be applied is examined from a practitioner perspective, recognizing the limitations arising from the differing data needs and time-consuming nature of each type of analysis.
Dear colleagues / Chers/Chères collègues (texte en français ci-dessous)
Some of you may already have seen and used the Africa Groundwater Atlas. This is a new online resource with groundwater information for all African countries. It is linked to the Africa Groundwater Literature Archive – an expanding online repository of documents on groundwater in Africa.
As part of the research programme UPGro, the British Geological Survey (BGS) are now developing the Atlas further, expanding and improving the content, and translating many pages into French. We are also aiming to make it more relevant by connecting the hydrogeology information it already contains to the practical needs of people working with groundwater in Africa.
We are also looking for feedback on the Atlas. We’d be really grateful if you could find time to answer a short questionnaire, which can be found at these web links
English version – https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/Z9DYD9D
French version – https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/ZTQ8MYF
We are also organising a webinar on Wednesday 28 June to get feedback on how the Atlas is working, and what future improvements could be made. If you would like to participate in the webinar, please join up here: https://meetings.webex.com/collabs/#/meetings/detail?uuid=M7GHC6SM0Q76Q2VHKWKB1Q13YT-BUDR&rnd=760558.52747
We will get in touch closer to Wednesday 28 June with more details about the webinar.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
With best wishes,
Certains d’entre vous ont probablement déjà vu et utilisé l’ “Africa Groundwater Atlas”. C’est une nouvelle ressource en ligne qui regroupe des informations sur les eaux souterraines de tous les pays d’Afriques. Celui-ci est associé à l’ “Africa Groundwater Literature Archive” qui est une librairie en expansion regroupant une grande diversité de documents et articles concernant les eaux souterraines en Afrique.
The British Geological Survey (BGS) consacre aujourd’hui une partie du programme de recherche UPGro à améliorer et enrichir le contenu de l’Atlas et à en traduire les pages en francais. Nous tenons par ailleurs à rendre celui-ci plus coherent en liant les données hydrogéologiques aux besoins pratiques des gens travaillant sur les eaux souterraines en Afrique.
Nous avons aussi besoin de vos retours à propos de l’Atlas. Nous vous saurions gré de trouver un moment pour répondre à ce court questionnaire, que vous pouvez retrouver en suivant les liens suivants :
Version anglaise – https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/Z9DYD9D
Version française – https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/ZTQ8MYF
Nous organisons aussi un webinar (un meeting en ligne) le Mercredi 28 Juin pour connaître votre avis sur le fonctionnement de l’Atlas, et sur les ameliorations à y apporter. Si vous voulez participer au webinar, veuillez vous inscrire ici :
Nous vous donnerons plus de details sur le webinar prochainement.
Si vous avez une quelconque question, n’hésitez pas à nous la communiquer.
Merci pour votre attention.
Brighid Ó Dochartaigh
British Geological Survey
The Lyell Centre
BRAVE team members Professor Ros Cornforth, Professor Aondover Tarhule, Dr Galine Yanon and Aaron Aduna attended the PRESASS Forum organised by Agrhymet Regional Centre of Niamey, the African Centre of Meteorological Applications for Development (ACMAD) and the Ghana Meteorological and Hydrological Agency. PRESASS is a Regional Climate Outlook Forum for the Sudano-Sahelian Africa region (known by its French acronym, PRESASS: PRÉvisions climatiques Saisonnières en Afrique Soudano-Sahélienne). The PRESASS Forum provides regional, seasonal expectations for the rainy season in West Africa: May to November.
Regional Climate Outlook Forums produce consensus-based, user-relevant climate outlook products in real time in order to reduce climate-related risks and support sustainable development for the coming season in sectors of critical socioeconomic significance for the region in question. PRESASS covers 17 countries in West and Central Africa and includes collaboration with hydro-meteorological experts as well as representative from the disaster risk reduction community and Humanitarian agencies. For more information on regional climate outlook forums click here. Continue reading BRAVE: New climate change forecasts for West Africa
Phase 2 of the Hidden Crisis fieldwork is underway – right on schedule. The work has started in Ejere, a Woreda about 100 km north of Addis in Ethiopia. In this major survey of 50 poorly functioning rural waterpoints, we spend two days dismantling and testing each water point to work out what the main […]
The physical sciences longitudinal studies have kicked off in Uganda this week. The aim of these longitudinal studies is to capture the time-based hydroclimatic and hydrogeological processes of the groundwater system at selected hand pumped boreholes (HPBs). These temporal datasets provide valuable information to understanding HPB functionality that could not be addressed from the two […]
Dr Galine Yanon presented a paper at the 9th Internationale Conference on Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation: communicating and collaborating for resilient solutions to climate change, at the Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, UK April 21-22, 2017. The conference had more than 70 participants from 26 countries.
Dr Yanon presented the paper, Local governance of groundwater for Agriculture Livelihoods: Managing Climate change Impacts in West Africa. This paper explores how local capacity and user perceptions of vulnerability to water insecurity in the Sahel are shaped. Research findings are supporting the BRAVE project and its partner communities in future groundwater planning for agriculture and livelihood resilience to climate change impacts.
This conference was a real opportunity to share the BRAVE project approach, methodology, and particularly the work that has been done in project communities in Ghana and Burkina Faso. Research findings are from the scoping stage of the project. Data collection was done in collaboration with the NGOs Partners, CARE Internationale, Ghana, Tamale office, Christian Aid Sahel in Burkina Faso, and Reseau Marp in Burkina Faso. See Conference Presentation here.
Dr Yanon also recently participated at the International Scientific Conference on Climate Risk Management in Nairobi, April 5-9, 2017. The conference was organized by the Kenya Red Cross in collaboration with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), with participants from government, civil society, research academia, the private sector, and NGOs.
The message heard in this pre-scoping meeting was very clear: IPCC wants to move from a 1.0 to a 2.0 version, as this message is more relevant to, applicable to, and representative of people’s lives. This will require new voices and stakeholders to play a fundamental role in the AR6 cycle and beyond. The conclusion and recommendation of this meeting will be presented at the IPCC assessment meeting in Addis Ababa in May 2017.
Furthermore, the conference also allowed Dr Yanon to present the BRAVE project and its interdisciplinary approach as well as the Rainwatch Alliance.