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Safeguarding rights and sharing benefits: governance considerations around dams in West Africa

Presentation by Jamie Skinner (IIED) at World Water Week 2015 in Stockholm in the context of the side event: 'Towards socially just and economically viable dams in West Africa' (GWI West Africa).

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Safeguarding rights and sharing benefits: governance considerations around dams in West Africa

  1. 1. 23 August 2015| 1 Global Water Initiative – West Africa Global Water Initiative – West Africa www.gwiwestafrica.org Safeguarding rights and sharing benefits: governance considerations around dams in West Africa Jamie Skinner International Institute for Environment and Development
  2. 2. 23 August 2015| 2 Global Water Initiative – West Africa www.gwiwestafrica.org Towards more equitable outcomes from large dams • Effective compensation of lost assets for affected people • Secure rights to new resources and resettlement housing • Sharing of benefits to support local livelihoods and development over the dam’s lifetime Achieved through • Effective participatory planning approaches involving legitimate community representatives
  3. 3. 23 August 2015| 3 Global Water Initiative – West Africa www.gwiwestafrica.org Customary rights vs modern legal rights • Hybrid situation in most countries • Pre-dam situations are dominated by customary rights, while post-dam situations apply modern law • Dam- affected people often resettled on intensive rice irrigation schemes • Gradual recent trend towards modern codification of rights with fewer central powers of the state (democratisation, decentralisation). • In the land sector, allocation of modern secure leases to large private investors has helped crystallise the irrigated land tenure security discussions for small farmers.
  4. 4. 23 August 2015| 4 Global Water Initiative – West Africa www.gwiwestafrica.org Water security • Water is managed and allocated by the state. In most cases this is not codified but implicit through extensive public ownership and management of infrastructure. • Ricefields use anything from 14,000 m3/ha/crop (wet season) to 25,000 m3/ha/crop (dry season) • Farmers access water by applying for land in public irrigation schemes, where rice is the pre-determined crop. • Income from rice cannot cover investment costs – public subsidy essential
  5. 5. 23 August 2015| 5 Global Water Initiative – West Africa www.gwiwestafrica.org Public vs private land title Full State control Full private title • Govt allocates land • Non payment of water fee can lead to eviction • Non respect of conditions leads to eviction in many cases • No renting, transfer of land • Govt ensures O&M • Little documentation • No clear legal rights of succession/inheritance • Informal flexibility through negotiation and practice • Farmers hold private title • No government involvement • Annual mortgage payments to revolving fund • Rights to sell, rent and inherit • Association manages O&M • All documented and registered under modern law • Titles can serve as bank gurantees What does « security » mean in this context ? Eg Alatona project, Mali
  6. 6. 23 August 2015| 6 Global Water Initiative – West Africa www.gwiwestafrica.org Land and water security - perspectives Government views • Public funds are being used and State needs to keep control. $10,000-$20,000/ha + dam • Farmers are fortunate to receive plots and public investment reduces poverty • If farmers have secure rights there is a risk they will sell up, or lease out land. Why should individuals profit from public funds in this way ? • As a last resort, farmers who don’t pay water fees should be evicted Farmers views • We are working for the government, not ourselves • Land allocation processes are subject to elite capture (civil servants, politicians) • Water fees are too high (and mismanaged due to corruption) • How can my family members rights be protected (inheritance and fragmentation) • We are nervous about allowing land to be used as collateral for bank loans • Small farmers should have the same tenure security as large investors
  7. 7. 23 August 2015| 7 Global Water Initiative – West Africa www.gwiwestafrica.org Recent policy trends in securing rights • Mali land tenure law (draft) • Irrigation schemes are being legally registered as state land to allow subsequent govt-farmer contracts (under negotiation) to be legally valid (Burkina, Niger, Mali) • Donors (World Bank, USAID, AfDB, AFD) requiring more secure tenure for resettled farmers (notably as compensation for lost land) • Recent new legal tools (leases in Niger, private titles and leases in Mali and Burkina)
  8. 8. 23 August 2015| 8 Global Water Initiative – West Africa www.gwiwestafrica.org Broader considerations More rights for farmers necessarily requires adjustments to the central role of the State in rice irrigation – needs strong political will. Improved security for farmers has been helped by legal requirements concerning « just » compensation of traditional resources assets lost in public interest projects (and donor support). The FAO voluntary guidelines and African Land Policy Initiative help focus political attention on land tenure Until such time as land ownership is secure and clearly codified, it will be challenging to discuss steps towards individual water rights and water security
  9. 9. 23 August 2015| 9 Global Water Initiative – West Africa www.gwiwestafrica.org Rights Private property Yes No No Use rights Yes No Yes Right to inheritance Yes No Yes Traditional lands On irrigation schemes Lease in perpetuity Observations Right to sell land Yes No No Lease can be sold Right to rent land Yes No Yes Comparing rights to traditional land, normal practice in irrigation schemes and the new lease in perpetuity (Niger)
  10. 10. 23 August 2015| 10 Global Water Initiative – West Africa www.gwiwestafrica.org Access to new resources in absence of customary rights • Irrigation schemes are offered as compensation, but they have conditions (payment of water fees; capacity to adapt to intensive cultivation, payment for inputs etc). Not always clear what « the deal » is as compensation. • Attribution of irrigated land is controversial (eg locals vs immigrants; civil servants vs farmers vs agribusiness etc) • Government is often unable to manage expropriated land when social conflicts arise (eg Bagré) due to parallel customary rights and modern laws. • How should the reservoir fishery be managed ? Open or closed system ?
  11. 11. 23 August 2015| 11 Global Water Initiative – West Africa www.gwiwestafrica.org How can local communities benefit from hydropower ? • Electrification of resettlement villages (increasingly seen as good practice) • Proposal for a local development fund to receive 3% of revenue from hydropower sales In many cases, when project financing dries up (c.10 yrs into project), no funds are available to tackle unexpected issues or degradation of compensation/mitigation investments. Revenue stream can support local development through the lifetime of the dam and meet needs of communities. Proposal for 3% of hydropower revenues directed to a local fund at Kandadji dam (c. $600k/yr). 2010 Constitution allocates natural resources to communities. Fund managed by local communities via municipalities. Flexible finance supports prioritised local development investments over decades.
  12. 12. 23 August 2015| 12 Global Water Initiative – West Africa www.gwiwestafrica.org How can local communities benefit from Kandadji hydropower ? • Local development fund could receive 3% of revenue from hydropower sales 1. Community Investment fund (collective services eg health water, education) 2. Support to local economic activities 3. Fund for vulnerable households 4. Environment fund 5. Capacity building fund 38,000 resettlers so only around $15/person/yr if $600k per year (tbc when final electricity price known) Electricity code needs to be modified. Provisions for the fund included in ToR for the power plant operator. Final policy decision pending.
  13. 13. 23 August 2015| 13 Global Water Initiative – West Africa www.gwiwestafrica.org Policy framework Niger Basin Authority – Annex 1 (Article 50) Draft ECOWAS Regional Directive (Article 42) Obligation to share benefits with local populations Strong national legislation is key for initial compensation provisions.
  14. 14. 23 August 2015| 14 Global Water Initiative – West Africa www.gwiwestafrica.org Bagré, Burkina Faso Niandouba / Confluent, SenegalSelingué, Mali Selingué, Mali

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Presentation by Jamie Skinner (IIED) at World Water Week 2015 in Stockholm in the context of the side event: 'Towards socially just and economically viable dams in West Africa' (GWI West Africa).

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