The “Water and Fragility in the Sahel” Project has been selected by the 2018 Paris Peace Forum. This formalizes our willingness to contribute to an open and constructive debate on Water and Peace relationship in fragile and poorly secured areas.
The project explores new solutions to address the following questions:
- How to address water management issues in complex areas?
- How to promote and carry out change?
- How to facilitate the improvement of water governance?
- How to improve local population involvement in decision-making processes ?
- How to articulate the levers for the international community to act constructively in these complex areas?
- How to put the latest advancements in water science & technology at the service of the poorest populations of the Sahel region?
- What is the best scale to address water issues, considering the predominant local dimension?
- How to get out of the spiral when the lack of water is compounded by fragility, weak governance and instability?
All these issues are addressed by the “Water and Fragility in the Sahel” project which advances tangible and practical solutions to avoid the downward spiral, and will apply an integrated multisectoral approach of:
- Research programs,
- Training cycles,
- Water management projects,
in accordance to the three key pillars (exploration, education and governance).
The “Water and Fragility in the Sahel” project will propose a "project area" implementation in its pilot phase.
The "Water and Fragility in the Sahel" project has indeed selected the Azawak valley, where the NGO Amman Imman: Water is Life operates, for the pilot phase implementation.
This arid, low-lying plain of 180 000 km2 lies between the Menaka region of Mali and the Tahoua region of Niger, and has a population of 500,000 inhabitants. These regions are complex areas with de facto a very weak governance and particularly exposed to the risk of radicalization, illegal activities (drug-trafficking and human-trafficking), and violence. The difficult situation is compounded by the severe lack of water (less than 6 liters of water on average per person per day).
In the Azawak valley, the “More Water for Sahel” Initiative will carry out the integrated approach model in a participatory manner with national stakeholders to create "Oases of Life” through the construction and exploitation of deep borehole wells. Following the assessment of the “Project Area” concept, the project will scale up during a second phase. The approach aims to optimize the success ratio of water well drilling. In this respect, knowledge of resources, ideal operating depths and recharge dynamics will be essential.