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The Far-North region of Cameroon is threatened by extreme water shortage and climate variability. Visible evidences of water problems in the region includes; a total crop failure because of drought; heavy rainfall and flooding; shrinking of Lake Chad etc. Many studies have attributed these calamities to two possible causes and this includes: human induced climate change and human activities (such as poor farming practices, unsustainable use of water, increased demand because of population growth, poor water management, deforestation etc). However, analyzing climate data (temperature and precipitation data between 1957 and 2006) and expert consultation in the region suggest that the increasing water shortage might be because of poor water management, and not directly because of climate change. Water is of critical importance to this semi-arid region but proper attention has not been given in the management of the resource. Through landuse intensification around catchment areas, groundwater extraction, the construction of dams along river courses, rapid population growth, unplanned urbanization and socio-economic development have led to a poor and unsustainable management of water resources. In addition, water resources management is highly fragmented between different sectors and communities that sometimes lead to wastage and insufficiency. Furthermore, the lack of high quality and observational hydrogeological data has also been a major limitation to the development of the water sector in region. Therefore, addressing the water problems in the region will require a holistic approach and the concept of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) stands a better chance to provide adequate solutions. In this study, IWRM will be understood as a management procedure that integrates natural resources and the society around water resources. The research driver is to increase water availability for local consumption through the implementation of IWRM. The approach does not want to be too ambitious with its outcome since it does not want to ignore the political, social and capacity related problems that hamper an effective project implementation. Despite the long list of challenges for managing water resources in the Far-North region, in this study, useful stock of the system were taken and opportunities for improvement has been examine.
Key results of the research were summarized in the following categories:
1) A DPSIR conceptual framework was developed and recommended as a platform for implementing IWRM in a situation where there is no IWRM plan for the region.
2) UN-water survey was used to take stock of the progress made by implementing elements of Integrated Water Resources Management in the region. The result suggests that a very slow progress has been made in implementing elements of IWRM in the region. Additionally areas for concern were identified. Furthermore, by using household questionnaires, about 52% of households responded that they are satisfied with their daily water supply. Rainwater harvesting was recommended as the best alternative for water supply in the region.
3) GROWA model was used to estimate water balance in the region. Even though some of the input parameters were derived from small-scale generalized international maps was not an excuse to renounce the obtained spatial distributed values of the water balance components. The overall result shows that large portion of the Far-North region of Cameroon have very low groundwater recharge of less than 50 mm/a. Artificial groundwater recharge using rainwater was recommended as a strategy to increase groundwater resources. This strategy might reduce the rate of water lost through evaporation. At the end, the research project presented a couple of ideas on how to solve the immediate water shortage crisis while paving the way for a more sustainable and Integrated Water Resource Management in the Far North region.
keywordsAbfluss Cameroon DPSIR-Rahmen DPSIR Framework EU Water Framework Directive Far-North Region Groundwater Recharge GROWA Mode Grundwasserneubildung Hydrogeologie IWRM Kamerun Rainwater harvesting Regenwassersammlung Runoff Umwelt- und Ressourcenmanagement Wassermanagement Wasserressourcen Water Resources
Ihr Werk im Verlag Dr. Kovač
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