Sharing the water, sharing the benefits: Lessons from six large dams in West Africa

, by IIED

Edited by Frédéric Bazin, Jamie Skinner, Jérôme Koundouno, IIED Publications, 128 pages, download the pdf version on the website

Over 150 large dams have been built in West Africa over the last 50 years. Many more are in the planning stages to meet the region’s demands for energy, water and food and their reservoirs will displace many thousands of local people. Success in resettling affected people and in rebuilding their livelihoods has been mixed in the region. This publication reviews detailed experience from six dams in Burkina Faso, Mali and Senegal through the lens of “benefit sharing” with local populations, which asks to what extent the affected communities have indeed benefited from the dam and how the multiple positive consequences from water use have been shared between different actors. The lessons learned from these experiences can guide future decision making.

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