Niger released its first Climate-Water Resource Bulletin in March 2018, developed by a working group set up through the country’s National Framework for Climate Services (NFCS). Since then, the bulletin has been distributed every two weeks to approximately 1200 recipients from state services, government institutions, town halls, water companies, farmers, breeders, and technical and financial partners. Following the release of the first bulletin, the National Irrigation Board issued a memo requesting their services to build awareness among and work with cooperatives to optimize water management. The bulletin was developed with support from the Climate Services for Increased Resilience in the Sahel project, a Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS) initiative funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
In addition to an overview of the climatic situation, the bulletin includes technical notes monitoring an exceptional drop in water levels in the Nigerian part of the Niger River basin since February 2018. Recommendations for decision-makers, such as implementing a watershed protection program and developing watering docks, were shared in the bulletin.
The bulletin also provides analyses of the agrometeorological situation in the Niamey region, as well as advice for farmers, irrigators and ranchers. Farmers are advised to select drought-resistant, short-cycle crops and limit the use of species and fertilizers with high water requirements. Irrigators were advised to seal cracks in main and secondary canals, while ranchers were urged to ensure sustainable management of grazing. The fifth issue of the bulletin, issued in May 2018, also included a warning to prohibit bathing children and using the water that has accumulated in pockets of the river bed as these are wastewater from nearby hotels and industries.
The bulletin was developed by the Climate-Water Resources Working Group with input from Niger’s Directorates of Hydrology, Meteorology, Agriculture and Pastoral Development; the Niger Basin Authority; Climate Information Development and Forecasting Project (PDIPC); West African Science Service Center on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL); the National Council for the Environment for Sustainable Development (CNEDD); and the GFCS national coordinator.