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Volta Basin Water Charter

Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Mali, Togo

AfriqueBeninBurkina FasoCote D'IvoireGhanaMaliTogo


This Water Charter specifies and completes the provisions contained in the Convention that gave rise in 2007 to the Volta Basin Authority (VBA), a watershed covering 400,000 km² and shared by six states: Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Mali and Togo. The Charter follows on from those drawn up for the Senegal, Niger and Lake Chad basins, while focusing on the specific realities of the Volta basin. This type of international convention aims to strengthen cooperation between the States of the basin and to strike a balance between preserving the good ecological status of the watercourse and economic development by satisfying the needs of users (drinking water, irrigation, industry) and non users (hydroelectricity, navigation). The body of the Charter deals with a number of issues:

  • Enumeration of common principles, country commitments with regard to water resources (minimum flows, respect for wetlands, water quality, etc.),
  • Administration of abstraction and discharge rights,
  • Operating methods of existing and planned ABV bodies, methods for resolving conflicts between countries, etc.
Panneau indicateur du niveau du lac de la Volta à Akosombo
Réunion de concertation dans un village
Un camion traverse une rivière sur une embarquation
Kakemonos communication Charte de l'eau du Bassin de la Volta
Plaquette de communication Charte de l'eau du Bassin de la Volta
Concertation pour l'élaboration de la charte du bassin de l'eau de la Volta - Cotonou au Bénin

& Services

Carrying out a technical, legal and institutional analysis on a transnational scale:

  • Legal and institutional analysis: Carrying out a national analysis in each of the countries with an institutional and regulatory analysis of the water sector. Carrying out a regional analysis based on the national analyses. Highlighting the points of convergence and divergence and the obstacles to be removed in order to harmonise water resource management at basin level.
  • Technical diagnosis: an inventory of water resources, uses, users and the major IWRM issues in the basin based on existing data and studies. This includes an assessment of the availability and quality of water resources, an estimate of consumptive uses (water supply, irrigation, industry, livestock farming, environment) and non-consumptive uses (hydroelectricity, navigation, transport, fishing, environment), and an analysis of the issues (priority uses, threshold flows, management rules for structures) and risks (climate change, flooding, etc.). This inventory leads to a diagnosis of the allocation of water for current and planned uses and the identification of the necessary measures to protect water resources and related ecosystems.

Drafting the charter :

  • Proposal of development options for each of the key points in the legal document: scope, principles, stakeholder commitments, allocation and distribution of water resources, measures to protect the basin's water resources and ecosystems, sharing of costs and benefits, financing of the basin organisation, stakeholder participation, conflict prevention, local community rights, cross-border impact studies, etc.
  • Helping basin stakeholders to decide on each of the development options.
  • Detailed drafting of the legal document, in line with the positioning of the stakeholders in the basin.

Leading the consultation process:

For each of the three phases of the study, three successive phases will be devoted to stakeholder consultation:

  • A consultation tour of each of the six countries,
  • Consultation at national level, with a workshop in each of the six countries,
  • Regional consultation with a regional workshop. Innovative consultation tools and facilitation methods are being deployed, in line with the specific objectives of each stage. Depending on whether the aim is to build the content together, choose options or validate the documents, the facilitation tools used are adapted to support the stakeholders in the basin towards a shared and consensual Charter.

Supporting the VBA and countries in ratifying the charter:

  • Drawing up an action plan for the process of ratifying and implementing the Water Charter.
  • Development of innovative communication and awareness-raising tools.

Sustainable Development Goals (SDD) of the United Nations

2 - Zero hunger6 - Clean water and sanitation17 - Partnerships for the goals13 - Climate action
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