Niger RiverScan 2018, Mali

Summary: Several activities have taken place in the Niger River in Mali in March 2018: training of stakeholders with sensors and underwater drones, mapping of outlets of factories and domestic wastewater, 3D visualizing of measurement data and a VIA Water Cafe to share experiences.

Introduction: The river basin commission, Agence du Bassin Fleuve Niger, has recently launched an underwater drone in the Niger river near Bamako, Mali. The drone collects data on the quality of the river water. This enables the river commission to share the data with other governmental departments, universities and local water users, to improve the quality of the river water.

The drone is supplied by Indymo and the sensors by Akvo Caddisfly. The monitoring project is supported by the Dutch international development aid programme VIA Water.

Better drinking water quality
The aim of the monitoring is to enable the river commission to provide reliable and continuous data to policy-makers so they can make well-informed decisions on the improvement of river water quality. Local stakeholders received a training on how to operate the drone, the sensors and the VR headset. The project involves several stakeholders, including users of Niger River in Mali, such as fishermen, dyers, maraichers, industries, gravel and sand extractors. The improvement is expected to have a positive impact on drinking water quality at the household level.

The opening ceremony on 27 March was chaired by Mr. Abdoulaye Berthé, Secretary General of the Ministry of Environment, Sanitation and Sustainable Development (MEADD). On behalf of Via Water, the ceremony was attend by programme manager Titia Wouters.

The Niger RiverScan gave valuable insights for other river studies around the world such as the Butuanon Riverscan in the Philippines.

More info on the Niger Riverscan can be found here.