6. Final considerations

The studies and execution projects required for the work provided in this paper have to be grounded on certain data that can be obtained only in close cooperation with the competent local authorities. Such studies mean topometric, geologic, climatologic, hydro-technical and hydropower work; the type and specificity of agricultural cultures to be obtained; water utilisation management; irrigation systems etc. It is only when all these data have been obtained that the costs and term of execution can be determined. However mention should be made that all work provided under the project of water supply to Sahara and desert lands fertilisation can be carried out using present-day techniques and technologies.

The possibility and extent of work needed to fertilise the desert regions of Sahara can be exemplified by Egypt. Since 1997 upon the initiative of President Mubarak they provided building a complex canal network, 320 km long, by means of which about 25 mill. m3 of water are extracted daily from Lake Nasser using 21 huge pumps, thus irrigating about 200,000 ha of agricultural crops. The same source has been used in order to provide water over long distances to the oases from the hot and completely waterless Libyan desert. After all, what has been realised in Egypt by taking over water from the Nile, accumulating it and then pumping it to ploughed fields is an initiative similar to what is proposed in this study, however using the much richer water flow of Niger River.

Since the ensemble of work provided impacts several circum-Saharan states, a preliminary consensus is required among the governments of such countries, specifying the responsibilities and obligations of each participating party, while also determining the water flow rates taken from Niger River all year long without prejudicing the water needs of all Niger riparian countries for agriculture, industry, navigation, hydropower work and social needs.

The amount of work provided under this study exceeds the financial capabilities of interested African states, therefore a clairvoyant decision of humanity is required so that developed countries can provide the logistics and financing of such projects, which otherwise also serve the interest of these countries by reducing the mass emigration of Africans; such a process would be difficult to keep under control in future years given the demographic explosion of autochthonous populations, which would simply disorganise developed states.
Similar statements can be found in the 1997 Report of the European organisation EAWAG, of which we quote: “Water availability in northern Africa will significantly reduce in the following years. Without taking serious measures, the inhabitants of this area will have an only option- their emigration northward. It is in the interest of European states to solve the water problem for such populations, together with the African states.”
Official organisations and institutions were established in certain African countries in previous years, which can provide a proper legal framework for the work proposed here. Thus several meetings were held in order to coordinate and facilitate the initiatives supporting African states. Among the most important ones mention can be made of the following:
  • An Office for Niger was set up in 1970 within the Francophone Organisation, under which irrigation projects were developed for cultures in Mali and a hydropower plant was built on Niger River.
  • The 1962 meeting in Lagos, Nigeria was transferred next year to Addis-Ababa in Ethiopia, when the Organisation for African Unity was established and its first reunion took place in Cairo in 1964, during which a judicial Agreement was concluded between African states.
  • The meeting of November 25th, 1964 at Niamey, Niger saw the establishment of the Niger River Committee- an inter-African organisation consisting of 9 riparian states to Niger River and to its tributaries: Guinea, Mali, Niger, Benin, Republic of Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Chad and Cameroon. The Agreement regarding the Niger River Committee, the navigation and transportation on Niger River was signed then.
  • At present scientific institutions of Germany, France and Switzerland sustain the activities of the organisations Observatoire du Sahara et du Sahel (OSS) and those of the Organisation for African Unity, and international organisations (IFAD, GEF) have been participating as well since 1996.

2 comentarii:

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