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The Komadougou-Yobe Basin Pilot Demonstration Project

Information on Komadougou-Yobe Pilot Demostration Project

Komadougou-Yobe Basin

The Komadougou-Yobe sub-basin, in the Lake Chad Basin, covers 148,000 in Niger and Nigeria, and contains an extensive floodplain where the Hadejia and Jama’are rivers confluence. Although referred to as the Hadejia-Nguru Wetlands, after the two principal towns in the area in northeastern Nigeria, much of the floodplain is dry for some or all of the year. The current contribution of the Komadogou-Yobe to the northern part of Lake Chad wetlands is locally significant, though minor in terms of the overall balance.

Dependency upon the Hadejia-Nguru Wetlands

Designated a Ramsar site by Nigeria, the wetlands have high biodiversity with an extensive variety of Sahelian and migratory species. The Hadejia-Nguru wetlands also provide essential income and nutrition benefits for approximately two million people through agriculture, non-timber forest products, fuelwood, fishing, dry-season grazing for semi-nomadic pastoralists, groundwater recharge of the Chad Formation aquifer and ‘insurance’ resources in drought conditions.

Pressure upon the Hadejia-Nguru Wetlands

However, recently the Hadejia-Nguru wetlands have come under increasing pressure from drought, and water resource schemes. The failure of the rains in 1992, and a sustained drought up to 1994 was exacerbated by water diversions upstream to irrigation projects and large dams like the Tiga and the Chalawa on the Hadejia River. In addition, increased demand for irrigation water downstream of the wetlands may divert water past the wetlands using bypass channels. Irrigation increased greatly during the 1980s due mainly to small petrol-powered pumps and a ban on wheat imports in 1988. The combined effect of drought and development has impacted upon the wetlands and a loss of plant and animal habitat resulting in certain large mammal species being considered locally extinct, and agricultural production becoming more precarious. Conflicts are also emerging between farmers and pastoralists as farmers move closer to the diminishing water, occupying grazing grounds and blocking traditional herding routes; and between small and large farmers for access to land.

Over the years, irregular water releases from upstream dams (due to, principally, lack of operation procedures for such releases) to feed poorly managed irrigation projects and water supply structures in the upstream part of the basin has resulted in perennial flow of water in the Hadejia river system, resulting in slow movement of water thereby causing built-up of silt and proliferation of typha grass and other weeds in the system. As a result of this, three out of four of the major river channels emanating from the Hadejia River, flowing through the Hadejia-Nguru Wetlands, are now blocked by Typha grass (‘kachala’ in Hausa) and siltation. These are the Kafin Hausa, Old Hadejia, and Burum Gana rivers The remaining fourth channel (Marma) is now annually flooded to excess, causing destruction of crops, houses and roads, and invasion of Typha grass and deposition of evaporites minerals such as Natron (‘kanwa’ in Hausa) into farmland, grazing areas, and fishponds.
The Burum Gana channel is blocked from its mouth at the Gubusum bifurcation up to Wachakal covering a length of about 60 km downstream.

The Old Hadejia River is blocked by silt and weeds, particularly at the mouth. The blockage is very serious from the mouth downstream to about 15 km.

The Kafin Hausa River is also silted from the bifurcation point near Miga for several kilometers downstream.

Institutional Interventions

FGN/IUCN/NCF Komadougou –Yobe Basin Project

This FGN/IUCN/NCF Komadougou –Yobe Basin Project is a joint basin level intervention by the Federal Government of Nigeria, the West Africa Regional Office of IUCN-The World Conservation Union and the Nigerian Conservation Foundation. The objective of the FGN/IUCN/NCF project is to improve the institutional framework for management of water resources in the Komadugu-Yobe basin. The first phase of the project comprises four components:

  1. Establishment and sharing of a sound knowledge base;
  2. Pilot testing of improved water management interventions at selected sites;
  3. Development of a catchment management plan; and 
  4. Adoption of a water management charter and establishment of an appropriate institutional framework for implementing agreed water management principles.

Joint Wetlands Livelihoods (JWL)

The Joint Wetlands Livelihoods project is a joint initiative between the local communities, local and state authorities mainly funded by the DFID. The project targets issues relating to Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) by working at three different levels: river basin, wetland and community.

The aim of the project is to foster sustainable pro-poor growth and community-level empowerment to enhance the livelihood of rural poor people dependent on the natural resources both in the Hadejia Jama’are floodplain and more widely in Nigeria. The project intends to enhance formal and informal power of local organizations and individuals to better manage Common Pool Resources in the Hadeija-Jama’are floodplain by use of more sustainable and equitable processes. This project has completed a stakeholder analysis and a stakeholder forum has been established. The major expected outputs are:

1. Sustainable processes for improved basin level water management developed and enhanced.
2. Sustainable processes for improved wetlands level water management initiated, demonstrated and institutionalized.
3. Sustainable processes for improved management at community level demonstrated and institutionalized.

GEF Pilot Project on Integrated Wetlands Management in the Komadougou-Yobe Basin

Integrated Wetlands Management in the Komadougou-Yobe Basin Pilot Project is focus on environmental management that recognized a basin-wide, multi sector approach working in conjunction with other agencies in the Basin. The initial outline of the project was augmenting the effort of the now defunct Hadejia-Nguru Wetlands Conservation Project (HNWCP). Based upon recommendations from the Lake Chad Basin Commission’s member countries and institutions involved, and guided by integrated ecosystems management principles and GEF objectives, the Komadougou-Yobe pilot project aims to support the HNWCP by promoting the sustainable management and use of the Basin’s resources (water, biodiversity) by relevant institutions and communities; and developing and implementing an effective monitoring and evaluation system that looks at the overall ecosystem, hydrology and socio economic issues.

In line with this objective and since the HNWCP is now non-existing, the LCBC GEF Project is now  working closely with new partners (the Nigerian Conservation Foundation, IUCN, JWL ), the governments of Niger and Nigeria, and other relevant institutions to achieve the project’s objectives.

Projects Objectives

The objectives of the project are;

  1. Improved coordination, integration and efficiency in water resources management in the Komadougou-Yobe basin; 
  2. Biodiversity conservation and restoration of the basin’s wetlands;
  3. Sustainable use and increasing productivity of the ecological resources (fisheries, forest products, grazing lands, farming lands) of the basin’s wetlands; and
  4. Effective control of the desertification process.


  1. The Hadejia – Jama,are Komadougou-Yobe Coordinating Committee and the Hadejia – Jama,are Komadougou-Yobe Technical Advisory Committee both stakeholder forums comprising of representatives from Bauchi, Borno, Jigawa, Kano, Plateau and Yobe States and the Federal government has been meeting to address water management issues in line with the IWRM principles.
  2. A Catchment Management Plan for the Hadejia – Jama,are Komadougou-Yobe Basin has drafted and endorsed by stakeholders.
  3. The Hadejia – Jama,are Komadougou-Yobe Basin Trust Fund has been established with an initial contribution of  N750 million Naira.
  4.  A “Water Charter for a Sustainable and Equitable Management of the Hadejia–Jama’are–Komadugu–Yobe Basin” aimed at establishing a sustainable legal and institutional framework for cooperative management of the Hadejia – Jama,are Komadougou-Yobe Basin’s water resources by the riparian states within the Federal Republic of Nigeria has been drafted and is under review.
  5. In the area of priority actions at the community level, a total of 32 project proposals from communities were received. Out of these 10 proposals with a total funding of 32 million naira ($246,154) are being funded by the LCBC GEF Project and the communities.

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