Nana Kofi Acquah/IWMI

West Africa

West Africa

Investing in sustainable land and water management in northern reaches of the Volta and Niger River basins is critical if farming is to remain an attractive livelihood option. This is vital for securing food security in a region where urbanization puts undue pressure on the ecosystems that support production. WLE is looking at ways to influence policies and investments for improved and more sustainable land water management.  WLE is also exploring innovative circular economy approaches that support the reuse of waste to deliver recycled resources for peri-urban farming.

wastewater farmer Ghana

Equitable development

Investment and policy in the region has not always considered the disparity that exists, be it economic, ethnic or gendered. In order to ensure that development is not only equitable, but also will be effective and long lasting, WLE research has looked at how to improve and incentivize good practices.  

Recovering resources

In Western Africa, degraded agricultural soils are impacting food productivity. At the same time, municipal waste  is increasing and disposal is expensive and often done improperly. Recycling waste in a safe and sustainable way to extract nutrients for agriculture, fuel for cooking, and water for irrigation is good for both urban health and rural productivity.

Water management infrastructure

Water management in the region has been characterized by large infrastructure investments that are expensive and sometime ineffective. Making adjustments to these built infrastructure projects and exploring portfolios that incorporate natural water management functions can help improve water management in the region.