Global Water Initiative – West Africa

The Global Water Initiative (GWI) was an action-research and advocacy programme that ran from 2008-2017. It sought to improve global food security by enabling farmers to better access, manage and use water resources for sustainable agricultural production.

GWI was funded by the Howard G. Buffett Foundation and operated in three regions: Central America, East Africa and West Africa. The West Africa programme of GWI was implemented by IIED together with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

GWI had two phases: 

GWI 2008 to 2012: catchment level Integrated water resource management (IWRM) and access to clean water services, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH). Our work on IWRM during this phase also included research and advocacy on benefit-sharing from large dams in the GWI West Africa that continued into phase 2.

GWI 2012 to 2017: ‘Water for agriculture'. Agriculture in large-scale rice irrigation schemes needs to be made to work for both the state, in terms of economic returns and national food security, and for the smallholders whose livelihoods depend on it. When it comes to the development of new dams and large-scale irrigation, more information is needed about their economic viability and how the water, land, and economic benefits can be shared equitably to support local development. GWI addressed these issues through evidence based participatory research and policy proposals with partners.

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GWI West Africa projects, articles, blogs and news stories