Author: Cheikh Faye
Affiliated organisation: Folia Geographica
Site of publication: unipo.sk
Type of publication: Journal article
Date of publication: 24 March 2019
Water is a major issue for sustainable development. Indeed, as Klaus Toepfler, Director General of United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), « water is closely linked to health, agriculture, energy and biodiversity. Without progress in the field of water, it will be difficult or impossible to reach the other Millennium Development Goals ».
Given the degree of dependence on natural resources, it is therefore urgent to put in place a logical management framework that contributes to meeting these water challenges and optimizing the contribution of water to sustainable development. In the Senegal River Basin, the Senegal River Development Organization (OMVS) was set up on March 11, 1972, to implement a program of integrated and concerted management of water resources and ecosystems for a number of years, sustainable development of the basin. In Senegal, as in other state‘s residents and members of the OMVS, the body Its mission is therefore the safeguarding of the Senegal River, its tributaries and their catchment basins as well as the integrated management of its resources. The OMVS has as ambition to establish a global vision of the development of the Senegal River Basin integrating the different sectoral objectives, sometimes antagonists, such as hydropower, navigation, development of drinking water and sanitation, transport, rural development, mining and industry, in s based on a thorough analysis of the water resources of the basin and the ecosystems that depend on it.
Senegal benefits from 1380 million m3/year (of which 4.9% for domestic use, 90.7% for agriculture and 3% for the industry
Unlike Guinea and Mali with which it shares the OMVS, Senegal, like Mauritania, has most of its water resources in the Senegal River. In the principles that govern the current distribution of water resources by state within the OMVS, Senegal benefits from 1380 million m3/year (of which 4.9% for domestic use, 90.7% for agriculture and 3% for the industry) on a past average annual volume of about 20 billion m3 at the Bakel station. The river, about 1800 km long, is fed by three main tributaries, the Bafing, the Bakoye and the Falémé. The hydrographic system of the Senegal River constitutes a natural heritage, of exceptional interests, at the disposal of Senegal but also of Guinea, Mali and Mauritania which are also riverside. The Senegal River basin, with an area of 271,573 km2 , is generally divided into three entities: the upper basin, the valley and the delta, and covers 14% of the surface area. total of Senegal. The Senegalese part of the Senegal River basin is vast of 27500 km2 or 10.1% of the entire basin. The Senegal River and its tributaries, including Falémé, and its tributaries, including Lake Guiers, cross totally or partially five administrative regions of the country.
The real actions undertaken to improve water management in the river basin are to improve knowledge of water resources, communication, information, education and awareness-raising, water, creating an environment conducive to the application of IWRM through legal, organizational and political reforms.
The benefits of IWRM as part of the OMVS
In the Senegal River Basin, various concrete actions, ranging from the physical realization of structures, to sensitization and capacity building, are led by OMVS in the field of water resources development, some of which are covered by IWRM. The realized works are essentially the anti-salt dam at Diama in the delta, the regulator dam multipurpose Manantali, embankments in banks right and left in the delta, the interconnected network of high voltage lines, the link roads. OMVS also carried out enhanced hardware capabilities (restored measurement network, computer equipment acquired, dashboard needs / resources and website implemented, simulation and management software created), financial (increased budget) and human (enhanced national services, continuing training program and scientific advisory committee at the observatory level set up).
The OMVS, a transversal development and resource management structure
The OMVS is a transversal structure (covering several countries and aspects) which favors a global vision of development and resource management in the Senegal River Basin. From his cross, she manages to guaranteed management of integrated water resources management, better than the industry structure development of the riparian countries (national services). It is able to gain the confidence of sectoral structures to foster the harmonious development of all development sectors through coordinated management of water and related non-biased resources. The control of water resources is a good tool for sustainable socioeconomic development.
Through these major developments, OMVS has introduced a rational use, integrated and coordinated water resources of the basin, which allowed him to reach their mastery. In a climate of transparency, good understanding, dialogue and mutual respect, the idea of a Water Charter for the Senegal River Basin was adopted in May 2002.
The OMVS, an institutional and administrative framework adapted to the basin scale
To give shape and content to the cooperation between the three States, the OMVS has an institutional framework that governs the activities to be undertaken in connection with the development of the Senegal River and the concerted and coordinated development of its resources. To do it, it is equipped with four types of organs:
- deliberative (the Conference of Heads of State and Government);
- executives (the Ministers Council);
- participatory (Locals Coordination Committees: LCC and Nationals: NCC);
- advisory (the Standing Water Commission : SWC).
These LCC and NCC follow the OMVS programs (such as the Environmental Impacts Mitigation and Monitoring Program, the Regional Health Program, the Integrated Water and Environmental Management Project of the Basin Senegal River: GEF/ OMVS). These consultative structures (NCC and LCC) include local authorities, professional associations and cooperatives, representatives of the administrative authority and representatives of associations / NGOs.
The difficulties of OMVS water management in Senegal
Despite OMVS ‚more inclusive attitude towards improving the situation in the basin, the situation is far from perfect, both on the left and right bank. Although effective and efficient management of water resources is a major challenge at the dawn of the third millennium, many internal and external factors hinder it in Senegal. A diagnosis can raise the constraints of IWRM applied by OMVS in Senegalese part of the Senegal River Basin.
In the Senegal River basin, the OMVS has shown a remarkable ability to adapt to the changes and realities of the environment, which gives every reason to be optimistic about the management of the river‘s waters. However, while the legal and institutional framework of OMVS appears solid, the consequences of its actions are at least mixed.
The joint management of the Senegal River is fraught with divergences of interest due to a difference of objectives and difficulties related to the abandonment of national sovereignty over the river, OMVS management failures due to weakness of s means and the direct participation of all categories of users, the negative externalities of the large developments in the basin. Added to a lack of monitoring mechanisms and control compliance, insufficient own resources OMVS, an insufficient support to the management framework best suited é e IWRM, the results of some programmatic components remained well below expectations. However, this cruel record does not hinder the fact that OMVS remains one of the most advanced and armed basin organizations.
“The legal and institutional framework of OMVS appears solid, the consequences of its actions are at least mixed”
To remedy the various problems and issues noted in the Senegalese part of the basin, the OMVS, in addition to the implementation of major developments and the definition of conventions and charters for the control of water, must strengthen the framework, institutional, legislative, regulatory and financial management and financing for good water policy in the basin. This requires a harmonization of the legislative and regulatory framework of water resources management favorable to the implementation of IWRM.
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