Wetlands International Mali has chosen the city of Sélingué, 140 km from Bamako, to launch its new program on integrated water resources management called "BAM-GIRE. It aims to ensure "a better living Niger Basin, where the livelihoods and biodiversity are secure in a changing environment." Its intervention area covers the upper Niger and the Inner Niger Delta, two portions of the Niger River Basin in Mali and Guinea Conakry. The project is funded by the Kingdom of the Netherlands, through its Embassy in Mali for the period 2015-2019.
Funded by the Embassy of the Netherlands in Mali, BAM-GIRE program will be a turning point in water resource management in Mali and neighboring Guinea. The National Coordinator, Wetlands International Mali who was flanked by Mrs. Josephine Reinartz, Director of Operations at the headquarters of Wetlands International in Ede in the Netherlands, explained how important BAM-GIRE is. According to Mr. Bakary Kone, the project will produce knowledge through the establishment of a monitoring, evaluation and mapping ecosystem and develop decision support tools. He also insisted on the strategic position of the upper Niger in the project, which is the reason why launching took place in Sélingué. Finally, Mr. Koné stressed the mobilization of Wetlands International Mali for the implementation of the project.
The First Secretary in charge of water at the Embassy of the Netherlands in Mali recalled that Bamgire is a program of the Government of Mali implemented by Wetlands International Mali. Mr. Peter Zoutewelle stressed the need to clarify the roles and responsibilities of stakeholders in the implementation of the project, to enhance communication, develop strategic partnerships and synergy of actions including consideration of issue of sharing water.
In opening the workshop to launch the BAM-IWRM project, the Technical Advisor to the Minister of Energy and Water, said an important step in the implementation of the joint program of support to the IWRM has been reached to give a response to the deteriorating ecological and socio-economic status as well as poverty reduction in Mali and Guinea with a good knowledge of water resources and integrated management. Mr. Navon Cissé further addressed this message to participants: "Your presence in this IWRM program launching workshop is beneficial, but it must be part of a process of effective ownership to fully play your roles and responsibilities in its implementation ".
For his part, Mr. Amadou Diabaté, the representative of the Chief Executive of the Sikasso region, emphasized the relevance of the project which will contribute to poverty reduction, including food security in a context climate change at the top in the Niger basin and the Inner Niger Delta.
In his welcome address, the mayor of Baya welcomed the initiative in his area who actively works in integrated water resources management (IWRM) through the Sélingué Local Committee of Water (CLE). According to Magatte N'Diaye, IWRM is a priority of its common development policy and a useful way to sustain the water resource to ensure better promising benefits than harm.
The workshop was about fifty participants from national departments, central services, development offices and laboratories in Mali and Guinea Conakry.
Finally, the Embassy of the Netherlands in Mali was warmly thanked for the technical and financial support to the project in particular and the Joint Programme Support to IWRM in general.
Three presentations followed speeches including the achievements of Wetlands International in Mali presented by Bakary Koné, National Coordinator Wetlands International Mali, experience CLE Sélingué by its President Mr. Hamet Keïta and BAM-GIRE project by the responsible programs Wetlands International Mali, Dr. Mohamed Gareyane.
Relevant and constructive discussions for more effective implementation of the project and the formulation of guidelines that involve Wetlands International and all stakeholders were noted. They include:
- Define roles and responsibilities of each actor in the implementation of the project;
- Developing synergies and complementarities between the observatory and the upper Niger Inner Niger Delta with existing and future observatories;
- Develop a partnership with the Massif Fouta Djallon Programme;
- Ensure the promotion of information, education and communication; financed by all actors, for a better sharing of water between users and uses especially at the development offices;
- Support the development of adapted bills for the preservation of the Inner Niger Delta as a wetland of international importance;
- Support the development of bills to classify Bagoé for its preservation against the proliferation of gold mining activities since from Fourou to the confluence of the Baoulé (traditional and modern gold mining) is concern. Forward bills for the classification;
- Conduct a study to identify sub-basins;
- Promote the institutionalization and the Portage OPIDIN including the production of newsletters by the National Directorate of Water.
By Ibrahima Allamir Maiga with the support of Pape Diomaye Thiaré