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Under implementation : Niger-HYCOS

( version française)

The Niger River is the third longest river in Africa (4200 km) and the fourteenth longest in the world, ranking ninth in terms of drainage basin size (2,170,500 km2, with an active watershed covering 1,500,000 km2). The drainage catchment is located between latitude 28­­­oN in Algeria and 4oN in the Gulf of Guinea, where it discharges into the Atlantic ocean. From west to east, the basin ranges from longitude 11.5oW on the Fouta-Djalon plateau in Guinea to 15o East in Chad. Niger Reiver basin mapThe Niger River starts in the Fouta-Djalon range in Guinea, a region of high plateaux lying at an average altitude of 1,100 m. It flows north east and during the wet season, forms a vast floodplain in Mali referred to as the Inner Delta or lake basin. Beyond the Inner Delta, the river forms a loop within Mali. It continues to flow , south-east towards Nigeria, where it merges with the Benue River (major tributary) and discharges into the Atlantic Ocean. Its geographical basin, comprising of extensive desert zones, floodplains and swampland, is characterized by large valleys that are progressively drying up.

The active watershed of the Niger River is shared between nine West and Central African countries namely Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, Niger and Nigeria. The inactive basin essentially concerns Algeria, Mali and Niger. The Niger River plays a vital role within the region and the countries through which it flows.

Niger HYCOS is one of the first basin component formulated as a follow up to the AOC-HYCOS. The project document was developed by WMO in collaboration with the French Institut de Recherché pour le Developpement (IRD). It was discussed and endorsed during a meeting of the HYDRONIGER Technical Committee, in May 2002, in Niamey. The Project Document has been updated accordingly and was finalized in November 2002.

The total cost of the project is € 5.3 million. The French Development Agency (AFD), within the framework of a € 10,000,000 support package to the Niger Basin Authority (NBA), is supporting the implementation of Niger HYCOS project with € 3,000,000, WMO managed to secure € 1.2 million from the African Water Facility (AWF), IRD providing € 200,000 in kind and € 900,000 in kind from NBA and participating countries.

NBA is the Executing Agency and hosts the Project Regional Centre (PRC), WMO is the Supervising Agency and IRD is a technical partner providing technical backstopping and a donor in kind. Agreements between NBA and all concerned parties have been finalized.

The project aims at reinforcing data observation and collection capacity of the NHSs and developing a hydrological information system in each country. On a regional level it pursues the establishment of a regional information system to support the development of a forecasting system and other information products targeted for end users. A training component will strengthen the national and regional capabilities to implement and ensure sustainability of the project.

A six-month preparatory phase of the project, for preparing a detailed implementation plan and relevant budget, was completed by organizing the first Steering Committee meeting in Niamey, in November 2005 where a detailed project document including budget and workplan were approved. The implementation phase of the project started in January 2006. Procurement of hydrological equipment for reinforcing the observation and telecommunication network is being processed, including Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers, IT equipment and data bank software to support data management and information production for the regional centre and NHSs.

Four regional training courses were organized in 2005 and 2006. Another four are planned during 2007 and 2008. Similar national training courses conducted by trained personnel have been arranged in the countries. Ambitious programmes to check quality of historical data of stations along the Niger River and improve discharge forecasts have also been launched during 2007. The project document has been finalized and is now available in English and French.

The Second Steering committee meeting was organized in December 2006 in Burkina Faso. The third meeting is planned in September 2007.


Niger-HYCOS slide show presentation

Niger-HYCOS Products

in our memories


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