The World Bank has approved funding that will help Niger better harness its scarce water resources and thereby achieve food security and better livelihoods for Nigeriens. The Integrated Water Security Platform project will use disruptive technologies to promote participatory management of Niger's water resources, improve water supply, sanitation and irrigation service delivery, and increase long-term sustainability beyond the project.
In Niger, many households are not connected to a drinkable water supply system and families must devote hours collecting water, a task that often keeps girls out of school. In 2017, only 50% of the population had access to basic water service. Climate change has led to shorter but more intense rain patterns which affect agricultural productivity and in turn food insecurity. Poor water resource management and widespread land degradation due to excessive agricultural and grazing practices, have limited access to water and arable land.
"Access to equitable basic social services for all Nigeriens is fundamental to improve human capital and livelihoods," says Joelle Dehasse, World Bank Country Manager for Niger. "This is a landmark investment to improve access and management of scarce water resource in a country grappling with the impacts of climate change. From small scale irrigation, livestock watering and fodders transformation, expansion of water supply services and public sanitation facilities, to promoting good hygiene for better health outcomes and institutional reforms, this project will help Niger to raise the quality and sustainability of critical water services."
The Integrated Water Security Platform project intends to strengthen the management of water resources, increase access to water services and improve the resilience to climate-induced water variability in select areas of Niger. More specifically, it will contribute to: improve water resources management through improved monitoring systems and capacity building; mobilize water resources and promotion of sustainable use across all sectors; restore the environment to improve the resilience of agricultural and rural livelihoods to drought and flood, and promoting land and water conservation; expand rural development services, including small-scale irrigation, water-usage related activities for pastoralists, and aquaculture; and improve of access to drinking water and sanitation services with low-carbon and resilience considerations.. About 3 million people will directly benefit from the project.
The project is financed by $400 million from the International Development Association (IDA) and is in line with the Policy Statement of Niger through its axis three devoted to human capital development.