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Senegal River basin

The Senegal River basin extends through Mali, Mauritania and Senegal.

In the Senegal River basin, infrastructural developments and traditional uses are on a collision course. Some farmers are being pushed by the political and urban elites and the private sector, to transform the Senegal River into a major energy-food-transportation hub for West Africa.

This would mean building several hydropower plants, modernising irrigation, and river shipping infrastructure. Since all of this would require constant river withdrawal, it directly threatens the livelihoods of river communities that rely on farming and fishing. The damming of the main tributary has already altered the flow regime, affecting farmers and herders in the low valley, triggering mass migration to urban centres and other countries.

GoNEXUS will assess the regional, national, and local impacts of alternative WEFE security policies. It will examine the energy, agricultural and transportation sectors as well as on the surrounding economically and politically marginalised communities. Ultimately, this information should contribute to the design of robust water solutions and institutions capable of handling the challenges posed by the rapidly changing hydro-socio-economic environment, reducing the social cost of achieving water security. Building such solutions will be key in mitigating migration and conflict in the region.

In combination with local actors, GoNEXUS researchers will co-design solutions to lay the groundwork for new institutions and better governance of the Senegal River basin.

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