Damaturu, Nigeria –The African Water Facility announced on October 10, 2014, that it has offered the Hadejia-Jama'are-Komadugu-Yobe Basin Trust Fund a €2 million grant for the preparation of a strategic action plan to develop water resources in the Komadugu-Yobe basin in Northern Nigeria. Over 15 million people depend on the basin and stand to benefit from this project, particularly farmers, pastoralists and fishermen.
The economy of the basin is highly dependent on freshwater resources, particularly on the livelihoods generated from the wetland ecosystems, including agriculture, fishing, livestock production and related activities. Kano city and other major urban towns and rural settlements have also seen a significant increase in water demand for human consumption and other urban needs.
The project is designed to help meet these water needs and address the associated challenges through an integrated water resources management approach focused on the reoperation of the Tiga and Challawa Gorge dams. Particularly, it will help enhance urban water supply, agriculture water management, aquaculture, rangeland management, as well as ecosystem services through enhanced water resources allocation, utilisation and management.
“This new action plan is poised to address, in a more sustainable way, fundamental water resources management issues that are currently preventing millions of people from living better lives in Northern Nigeria,” said Akissa Bahri, Coordinator of the African Water Facility. “We anticipate for the ecological services and the livelihoods that are dependent on the basin’s river system to be fully regenerated, bringing a much-needed boost to the local and regional economy.”
The strategic action plan will outline the short- to long-term actions and related investments needed to restore rational water management in the basin through re-optimisation and re-operation of the Tiga and Challawa Gorge dams, identified as primary solution to improve the use of the basin’s water resources and to increase water flow in the lower part of the basin and to the Lake Chad.
The Hadejia-Jama'are-Komadugu-Yobe Basin Trust Fund will be executing the project in partnership with the Nigeria Integrated Water Resources Management Commission. The Fund is jointly funded by six states of Bauchi, Borno, Jigawa, Kano, Plateau and Yobe, in collaboration with the Nigerian Federal Government.
The new plan also presents an opportunity for greater collaboration between Nigeria and the Komadugu-Yobe Basin riparian countries, which should lead to increased mutual benefits.