For a healthy Inner Niger Delta, Mali

The Inner Niger Delta (IND) is an extensive and densely populated area made up of floodplains and flood forests with many socio-economic activities. These include agriculture, livestock, fisheries, picking of fruits, handicraft, navigation, tourism and trade. Some 1.5 million people depend on these floodplains for their daily resources and ecosystem services. Read more on the Inner Niger Delta.

Bad infrastructural planning, pollution & climate change

Its main threats are bad water management planning, including infrastructure such as dams, and pollution and climate change. Most climate scenarios indicate less rain in the Sahel, and all recent climate research indicates an increase of the temperature there. The river flow of the Niger is expected to decrease. This will have strong impacts on the livelihoods of the Delta's inhabitants. Read more...

Wetlands International: years of research experience

Wetlands International has years of experience in Mali working with local communities and highest level of government. Scientific research condensed into reports and publications (see example: The Niger, A Lifeline - to the right) has provided a strong knowledge base to influence government policies and decisions affecting the Inner Niger Delta. Read more on our research in the Inner Niger Delta.

Flood prediction & livelihood improvement

Currently, our Sahelian offices in Bamako and Mopti, Mali are implementing various projects for the improvement of water management and livelihoods of the Delta’s communities, helping them to adapt to climate change. 

Key examples of our work are the development of a Flood Prediction Tool called OPIDIN and the implementation of our BioRights approach: microcredit combined with environmental services. Read more on our work in the Inner Niger Delta or read about stories from the field from our BioRights beneficiairies.


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Some facts

  • The Inner Niger Delta in Mali is a 3.000.000 hectare wetland consisting of flood plains, lakes, river branches and small pockets of flood forest.
  • It is part of the 4.200 kilometres Niger river catchment, which flows through 10 countries before discharging in the Atlantic Ocean.
  • Classified as a Ramsar site in 2004, it is of extraordinary importance for a large range of water dependent plant and animal species.
  • Main ethnic groups in the region include Fulani (which are cattle breeders), Bozo and Somono (both fishermen) and Bambara and Rimaibe (which are farmers).


Gérer la richesse des zones humides du Mali pour les populations et la nature

Wetlands International existe au Mali depuis 1998, année au cours de laquelle elle a commencé un partenariat avec le Gouvernement du Mali af... Read more

Managing Mali’s Wetland Wealth for People and Nature

Wetlands International has been in Mali since 1998. As we near the end of a second decade in the country, we want to highlight and... Read more

The Water Crisis in the Inner Niger Delta (Mali)

This presentation decribes the water crisis in the Inner Niger Delta of Mali, one of the continent's largest wetlands, and the relation to d... Read more

Water sharing in the Upper Niger Basin

The scope of this study encompasses the Upper Niger Basin in Mali, focussing on the downstream Inner Niger Delta up to Tombouctou. It focuse... Read more