Sharing water, sharing benefits: lessons on dams from West Africa

29 November 2011 | News story

More than 150 large dams have been built in West Africa over the past 50 years. Many more are in the planning to meet the region’s demands for energy, water and food. But how can these developments rime with environmental sustainability and participatory processes?

A new publication, jointly developed by IUCN, the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), and the Institut de Recherches et d’Applications des Méthodes de développement (IRAM), reviewed detailed experiences from six dams in Burkina Faso, Mali and Senegal through the lens of benefit-sharing and compiled these into the report 'Sharing the water, sharing the benefits: Lessons from six large dams in West Africa'.

The publication looks to what extent the affected communities have benefited from the dams and how the multiple consequences from water use have been shared between different actors.

Success in resettling affected people and in rebuilding their livelihoods has been mixed in the region. The lessons learned compiled in the report can guide future decision making on dam developments in the West African region, and beyond.

The publication is available in French and English and was edited by Frédéric Bazin (IRAM), Jamie Skinner (IIED), and Jérôme Koundouno (IUCN).

For more information, please contact Jérôme Koundouno: