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Improving the living conditions of communities affected by dam projects: proposals from West African stakeholders

Jamie Skinner


On 21-23 January 2013, partners from ECOWAS, the Global Water Initiative (GWI), the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) organised a conference in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

It was attended by about 50 participants from West Africa representing civil society organisations, river users, state technical services, dam construction and management organisations, basin organisations, researchers, legal experts and regional and international organisations.

Drawing on the lessons learned from current practice in water infrastructure projects, the conference discussed a number of challenges in order to help the ECOWAS Water Resources Coordination Centre (WRCC/CCRE) and countries in the region effectively implement selected recommendations and measures in the ECOWAS guidelines.

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Agriculture in large-scale rice irrigation schemes needs to be made to work for both the state, in terms of economic returns and national food security, and for the smallholders whose livelihoods depend on it. When it comes to the development of new dams and large-scale irrigation, more information is needed about their economic viability and how the water, land, and economic benefits can be shared equitably to support local development.

More at www.iied.org:
GWI West Africa: project background

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