Supporting the National IWRM Commission in Nigeria
15 July 2009 | News story
Nigeria is one of the first countries to establish a national IWRM Commission, and is now rolling out IWRM offices across the country
The new IWRM offices have been set up to support existing River Basin Authorities and other water management agencies to improve coordination, and integrate the concepts of IWRM into the “national programme”.
“Changing the behavior of people and institutions is always difficult”, said Engineer I.K. Musa, Head of the National Integrated Water Resources Management Commission. “You need to maintain constant pressure and provide information, otherwise it is too easy for people to revert back to their old ways”. I.K. Musa is a humble man on a mission, and he has had great success so far.
Building on the success of the Komadugu Yobe River Basin (KYB) project the Commission aims to work more closely with partners across key states in Nigeria. “Partnerships allow us to make quantum leaps in water governance”, continued I.K. Musa. “By showing people who may not have seen eye-to-eye how changing land and water use practices can bring livelihood benefits to themselves and other people, it is possible to see the immediate effects of collaboration”.
“Partnerships take time, they are a process, and as soon as someone new joins, it takes you back to the beginning” said I.K.Musa. In the Hadejia-Jama”are wetlands in the Komadugu Yobe River Basin a lot has been achieved with very limited resources. By understanding water management challenges and livelihood concerns, what seem like small interventions have had large impacts on people’s lives. Re-opening of silt laden and weed choked channels has improved fish catch for many people and reduced flooding of lifeline roadways and homes. Upstream development and dam regulation has seriously affected the wetland areas, causing flooding and blocking channels due to the encroachment of typha grass. “Our next focus will be on working with the dam operators to look at their operations and the reasons for these problems…they are partners in this process and we all need to work closely together to understand the causes and effects”, said I.K.Musa.
The Komadugu Yobe River Basin Phase II has started and will continue to work with I.K.Musa and the National IWRM Commission. Activities will focus on learning the lessons from the Hadejia-Jama”are wetlands and the wider Komadugu Yobe River Basin and replicating approaches into other river basins in Nigeria, including looking at Lake Chad Basin transboundary concerns.
For more information, please contact:
KYB Project Officer