Sustainable and peaceful management of water resources in the Sahel Region, solution for the development of Africa
The international conference on the hydrology of watersheds of wide African rivers of the network “FRIEND_AOC (Flow Regimes from International Experimental and Network Data, Asian Pacific, West and Central Africa) which took place in Dakar from 27 November to 3 December 2016, hosted 130 participants, scientific experts, coming from the Sub-Saharian area and from North Africa, of which 20 % women and 30 % youth, especially young researchers and PhD students. FRIEND (Flow Regimes from International Experimental and Network Data) is a transversal initiative of the International Hydrological Programme of UNESCO. The participating experts had the opportunity to present their research and to benefit from the inter-universities exchanges of several scientific specialists on the topic of water management.
“Countries of the Sahel region are increasingly facing challenges for a more sustainable and peaceful management of water resources, because of demographic growth, rapid urbanization, economic pressures and climate change” highlighted M. Abou Amani, Chief of the Hydrological Systems and Water Scarcity Section in the IHP Secretariat.
Participants presented and exchanged the results of their research on various themes related to climate change and its impact on water resources, quality of water, pollution and urbanization.
The conference allowed, on one hand, the strengthening of cooperation between scientists in the Sub-Saharian area of North Africa, and the creation of a scientific exchange network which can contribute to solve the problem of water resources in the Sahel Region and to improve water management policies.
The conference was also an opportunity for young researchers and PhD students to present the results of their research and to learn about the new methodologies concerning the issues of water resources. Moreover, a training workshop will be organized following the conference, on a hydrological model SWAT (Soil and Water Assessment Tool) that 30 young scientific students are currently benefiting from.
The conference has been organized by EDEQUE/UCAD (Doctoral School on Water, Quality and Use of Water, University Cheikh Anta Diop) IRD (Research Institute for Development) and IHP (International Hydrological Programme, UNESCO), and it follows the first edition of conferences on hydrology and wide African watershed, which took place in Hammamet, in Tunisia, in 2015.
FRIEND-Water aims to develop a better understanding of hydrological differences and similarities between the different regions and the floods calculation methods. The extensive knowledge of hydrological processes and the flow regimes obtained thanks to FRIEND-Water contribute to the improvement of the planning and water resource management methodologies.
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