BURKINA FASO: Volta Basin Water Charter will soon come into effect

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BURKINA FASO: Volta Basin Water Charter will soon come into effect ©huyangshu/Shutterstock

The strategy for the implementation of the Volta Basin Water Charter was developed in 2017 and validated during a regional workshop held from July 11 to 13, 2019 in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso. It will be a legal, regulatory, institutional and technical reference tool that will govern environmental governance in the Volta Basin.

Environmental governance is becoming more important in the Volta Basin. In the coming months, the Water Charter will be implemented. It will improve water management in the Volta Basin through the application of good governance and environmental protection principles. It was validated during a workshop held from the 11th to the 13th of July 2019 in Ouagadougou by the member countries of the Volta Basin Authority: Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, Togo, Benin and Ghana. The countries examined, amended and validated the drafting of three annexes to the Water Charter: protocol for data and information sharing between States, notification of planned measures and terms of reference, and the composition of bodies.

Why a Volta Basin Water Charter?

Once implemented, the Charter will set out principles for the equitable use and management of water resources in the Volta Basin. For the coordinator of the project to implement the Volta Basin Strategic Action Programme (VSIP), Jacob Tumbulto, quoted as early as 2017 by LeFaso.net, “the Charter will be a legal instrument that will, in a way, specify the actions that will be taken for integrated water resources management. It will be a legal instrument between the countries bordering the Basin. It will specify the modalities of water resource management for poverty reduction in the VBA member countries. ”The Charter is part of the VSIP, which is supported by the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the International Cooperation on Rivers in Africa (CIWA). The overall cost of the project is estimated at more than $11 million.

To secure the area, the heads of state decided to create the Volta Basin Authority (VBA) on January 19, 2007, made up of the countries that share the basin. The Volta Basin covers 394,100 km2 and has a flow rate of 2.8 L/s per km2. It is also in this area that Lake Volta, the largest man-made lake in the world, is located. It produces electricity and provides water for irrigation and fish farming.

Luchelle Feukeng

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