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Climate change, water and conflict in the Niger River basin

A strategic approach to climate change and water resource management

This project aimed to understand how, in specific locations along the Niger River, the consequences of climate change and climate variability interact with societal, economic, political and other factors to increase human insecurity and the risk of conflict.

The third longest river in Africa, the Niger River and its tributaries are a key source of water for the estimated 100 million people living in the basin – especially for the drier regions within the western Sahel zone. This region experiences significant climate variability and is prone to land and water-related tensions.

The findings of our research, which are relevant at the local, national, regional and international levels, catalysed much-needed debate about the understanding of the links between climate and conflict in the Niger River basin countries. The final report also provided key policy guidelines for resilience building, adaptation and reducing conflict in this highly climate- and conflict-affected region.

The research consisted of three cases study areas, based on contrasting types of livelihood, environmental stress and resource situation: Sélingué and Ségou (Mali), and Lokoja (Nigeria).