Backed by the African Development Bank (AfDB), Niger has received approval from the Climate Investment Funds (CIF) for US $22 million to support its Water Resources Mobilization and Development Project. It seeks to boost food production in 10 rural districts in Niger, and ultimately improve the livelihoods of some 700,000 people, by implementing mini dams, wells and boreholes, irrigation schemes, erosion control and other water management measures along with the social infrastructure and training needed at the local level to ensure sustainability. Moreover, climate resilient seeds and farming techniques will be introduced to increase agricultural production.
The AfDB will be channeling the CIF financing along with co-financing from its own resources to the project. In addition, a partnership will be established with the Kandadji Program, the Project for the Development of Water Resources in the Dosso and Tillaberi Regions (PVDT) and the Local Development Support Project in the Diffa Region (PADL-DIFFA), three water resource management projects currently being implemented by the AfDB in Niger, with a focus on scaling up best practices and supporting complementary areas.
In Niger, seven episodes of drought over the last 40 years have had dramatic consequences on agro-pastoral production, food security and people’s livelihoods. Improving water management and making it more resilient to climate change is an important national goal, and one specified in Niger’s strategic program for climate resilience under the CIF’s Pilot Program for Climate Resilience (PPCR). Niger also recently received CIF approval for US $13 million to be implemented by the AfDB for its Climate Information Development and Forecasting Project.
In addition to financing, the Bank has been providing technical support to Niger throughout the design and development of these projects, and expects to approve and launch them in late 2012. These projects offer measures that could be applied in other areas of the continent, and best practices will help the Bank design future climate resilience operations in other sectors.