Today, the report “Will the Inner Niger Delta shrivel up due to climate change and water use upstream?“ is presented in a CBD side event of Wetlands International, the NGO that commissioned the study. The report shows how this large wetland area is already under threat due to water consumption upstream.
Dams for hydropower and irrigation schemes already cause a reduction in the size of the seasonal flooded area. This is already impacting the life of one million herdsmen, fishermen and farmers that depend on the seasonally flooded areas.
Climate change: worsen situation
Looking at possible impacts due to climate change in the future, this situation may worsen a lot. In dry years with less rainfall and more evaporation due to higher temperatures, the dam lakes still need to be filled. This will lead to the use of a disproportional part of the water for the upstream water infrastructures. As a result, the seasonally flooded area will become very small. In this way, dams are making drought events more extreme.
The Inner Niger Delta is unfortunately not a standalone example. Similar stress is seen on other wetlands in the Sahelian zone, with Lake Chad as a well known example.
Presentation of the report:
Convention on Biological Diversity, Nagoya, Japan (CBD COP 10)
Side event: "Wetlands, Water, Livelihoods and Biodiversity Linkages in a Global Water Crisis"
20 October 18.15. Room 136 - Bldg 1 - 3rd Floor
Presentation by Papa Mawade Wade, Wetlands International Africa
For more information:
Communication and Media Coordinator
Wetlands International Africa
Global Communications Manager
Tel. +31 (0) 640501917
Impact of Dams on the People in Mali (booklet)
Better use of the water of the Inner Niger Delta in a Changing Climate (video)
The Niger, A Lifeline (book)
Biodiversity loss and the global water crisis - A fact book (booklet)
Our work in the Inner Niger Delta (page on our site)