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Home > Phase 1 > Phase 1 Volta > Focal Project in the Volta River Basin (PN55)

Full Project Title: Basin Focal Project Volta (PN55)

Introduction

Inhabited by 19 million people of whom 70% are rural, the Volta River Basin crosses four agro-ecological zones and covers mostly Ghana and Burkina Faso, with small areas in Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali and Togo. The basin economies are reliant on rain fed agriculture but overall crop yields and water productivity are low. The low productivity coupled with limited market access, unstable prices, and insecure land tenure in some regions worsens the effects of poverty.

The Basin Focal Project (BFP) objective was analysis of poverty, water availability and agricultural water use to help understand how agriculture and water in the Volta basin support livelihoods: 1) Provide a whole-basin assessment of water availability, poverty, food security, and water productivity; 2) Ascertain the extent to which water-related institutional and technical interventions might contribute to poverty reduction, resilient livelihoods, and environmental conservation.

Research Highlights

Research highlights

  • A ready to use WEAP water allocation software has been developed for the Volta basin and presented to the Volta Basin Authority (VBA). The application is designed to help in analyzing the impacts of different water allocation strategies at the basin and sub-basin scale under possible impacts of climate change.
  • Poverty remains strongly rural and linked to economies that are reliant on rain fed agriculture. Rural poverty occurs because of low agricultural productivity, limited market access and price variability. Various technical solutions to these problems are already available and identified but their socio-economic acceptability and implementation need further research and effort.
  • Population density, generally low, is under pressure to increase to a projected 50-60 million by 2050. The ratio of rural: urban population will decrease dramatically from 2.3 now to 0.5 in 2050. The main forces of change are a combination of demography with increasing urbanization, and impacts from climate change.
Project Outcomes

Project outcomes

  • The study indicated that while many technical solutions are available and identified, socio-economic acceptability and implementation still requires further research and efforts.
  • The BFP program identified researchable questions or breakthrough implementation issues that promise major impact and change in the near future or in the longer term.
  • These different research topics – water resources and management; rain-fed cultivation; irrigation; fisheries and livestock; institutions and socioeconomics – directly address the main issues considered in the Volta BFP viz. basin-scale water allocation, sustainability, alleviation of rural poverty through improved water productivity in irrigated or rain-fed agriculture or livestock herding and pro-poor water policies.
Publications and Outputs

To view all outputs from project PN55 visit our document repository.

Selected publications and outputs

BFP Volta reports series

  1. Ben Slimane, A., 2008.- Vulnérabilité de l’agriculture pluviale dans le bassin de la Volta.Volta Basin Focal Project Report No 13. IRD, Montpellier, France, and CPWF, Colombo, Sri Lanka, 86 p.
  2. Béné, C., 2007.- Diagnostic study of the Volta Basin fisheries. Part 1 – Overview of the fisheries resources. Volta Basin Focal Project Report No 6. WorldFish Center Regional Offices for Africa and West Asia, Cairo Egypt, and CPWF, Colombo, Sri Lanka, 31 p.
  3. Béné, C., and Russell, A.J.M., 2007.- Diagnostic study of the Volta Basin fisheries. Part 1 – Livelihoods and poverty analysis, current trends and projections. Volta Basin Focal Project Report No 7. WorldFish Center Regional Offices for Africa and West Asia, Cairo. Egypt, and CPWF, Colombo, Sri Lanka, 67 p.
  4. Brunel, V., 2007.- Quelques caractéristiques de l’agriculture pluviale au Burkina Faso. Volta Basin Focal Project Report No 9. IRD, Montpellier, France and CPWF, Colombo, Sri Lanka, 21 p.
  5. Cachera, J., 2007.- Etude de l’accès à l’eau et de la pauvreté hydrique sur le bassin des Voltas. Volta Basin Focal Project Report No 5. IRD, Montpellier, France and CPWF, Colombo, Sri Lanka, 41 p.
  6. Clanet, J.C, 2008.- Elevages et pastoralisme dans le bassin de la Volta. Volta Basin Focal Project Report No 11. IRD, Montpellier, France, and CPWF, Colombo, Sri Lanka, 120 p.
  7. de Condappa, D., Chaponnière, A., and Lemoalle, J., 2008.- Decision-support tool for water allocation in the Volta basin. Volta Basin Focal Project Report No 10. IRD, Montpellier, France, and CPWF, Colombo, Sri Lanka, 28 p.
  8. Hauchart, V., 2007.- Durabilité de l’agriculture en fonction des pratiques culturales actuelles et conseillées (Burkina Faso et Nord Ghana). Volta Basin Focal Project Report No 2. IRD, Montpellier, France, and CPWF, Colombo, Sri Lanka, 109 p.
  9. Labbé, O., 2007.- Analyse institutionnelle de la gestion et des usages de l’eau en Afrique de l’ouest. Bassins du Niger et de la Volta. Volta Basin Focal Project Report No 8, IRD, Montpellier, France and CPWF, Colombo, Sri Lanka, 121 p.
  10. Langlois, F., 2006.- Influence de la variabilité de la pluie sur la production agricole dans le bassin de la Volta : exemple du maïs. Volta Basin Focal Project Report No 1. IRD, Montpellier, France and CPWF, Colombo, Sri Lanka, 51 p.

Journal articles and book chapters

  1. Clanet, J.-C. and Ogilvie, A., 2009.- Farmer-herder conflicts and water governance in a semi-arid region of Africa. Water International 34:30-46.
  2. de Condappa, D., Chaponnière, A., Lemoalle, J., 2009.- A decision-support tool for water allocation in the Volta Basin. Water International 34:71-87.
  3. Harrington, L., Cook, S., Lemoalle, J., Kirby, M., Taylor, C. and Woolley, J., 2009.- Crossbasin comparisons of water use, water scarcity and their impact on livelihoods: present and future. Water International 34:144-154.
Final Report
Project Partners

Project partners

WRI, INERA, UR

Project Lead

Project lead

IRD

For more information on Phase 1 outputs please contact Udana Ariyawansa.

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