The nine-member countries of the Niger Basin Authority (NBA) have pledged $274 million to support sustainable development and climate change adaptation projects.
The funding will go towards implementing the Programme for the Integrated Development and Adaptation to Climate Change (PIDACC) in the region.
The pledge was announced at the end of the Expert Meeting of the Extraordinary Session of the Council of Ministers in Abuja.
The PIDACC is a programme essential to the revitalisation of the basin, improving the lives of the basin population and the sustainable management of natural resources in the region.
Stakeholders have called for ambitious projects and initiatives to be launched to protect the region’s population of over 130 million. Ms Toupta Boguena, Executive Secretary of the NBA, called on nations in the region to work towards conservation and sustainable use of natural resources.
She also emphasized that the degradation to ecosystems in the region had reached a severe level and the potential consequences for the population are alarming. Climate change impacts have caused increasingly frequent droughts and flooding, which have resulted in the drastic reduction of vegetation cover, hence, the need to rehabilitate the basin.
The NBA chief said that about 59% of PIDACC’s financing has been pledged by financing partners including the African Development Bank, Global Water Partnership, European Union and the World Bank.
The Basin was established in November 1980 to “promote cooperation between member-countries and ensure an integrated development of the Niger Basin in the areas of hydraulics, energy, agriculture, livestock, fisheries as well as fish farming, forestry and logging.”
Not long ago, the member states of the NBA: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, Niger and Nigeria; took a decision to revive the basin region which was depreciating.