Water is the source of life, but it is also more and more the source of tensions between countries of a shared river course. One example is the Volta basin, 85% of which lies in Ghana and Burkina Faso.

Populations are set to increase 55% for Burkina and 57% for Ghana by 2025, leading to the expection that more and more water will be needed for development. Water use is expected to rise with 128% for Ghana and up to 429% for Burkina.

Without consultation and coordination of investments in infrastructure and agricultural developments, envisaged on both sides of the border of the two countries, and agreement on shared principles for sustainable management of the Volta river, the controversy on the causes of increased water scarcity and devastating floods in the lower Volta valley will only exacerbate.

The « Improving Water Governance in the Volta Basin » Project responds to that challenge through a partnership of national and international organisations. The goal of the project is to promote international cooperation between Burkina Faso and Ghana on water management of the Volta basin. It will help the two countries to define shared principles and put in place a framework for cooperation for sustainable water management.

IUCN Regional Office for West Africa (UICN-BRAO), the West African Water Partnership (GWP/WAWP), the Water Resources Commission (WRC) of Ghana and la Direction Générale de l’Inventaire des Ressources Hydrauliques (DGIRH) of Burkina Faso

Duration and cost
The project has a total budget of EUR 1.4 million over five years, and is financed by the Government of the Netherlands and the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida).