Water For Development


The 36th General Conference of UNESCO which took place in October/November, 2011 in Paris approved for the establishment of the Regional Centre for Integrated River Basin Management (RC-IRBM) at National Water Resources Institute (NWRI), Kaduna in Nigeria under the auspices of UNESCO. The Centre is to serve as a training and research hub for developing human and institutional capacities for sustainable development and promoting integrated river basin management particularly in West Africa sub-region and the African Continent in general. The RC-IRBM is also to strengthen cooperation between UNESCO, its affiliates and basin commissions in the sub-region like the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC), Niger River Basin Commission (NBC), West African Network (WA-Net) for capacity building, and other Trans- boundary Basin Commissions in the sub-region.


To be the foremost regional institution for capacity building in technical, and management areas of water resources having responsibility for planning and execution of training and research activities, acquisition, archiving and analysis of data and dissemination of information for sustainable integrated river basin management.


To provide education and training for water resources and related professionals in integrated water resources management and to build the capacity of sector organizations, knowledge centres and other institutions involved in management of water resources, the environment and agricultural infrastructure for effective delivery and resource stewardship for the benefit of the countries of the region.


Although the activities of the Centre is to focus on West African region comprising of member countries shown in  Figure 1, however the RC-IRBM intends to create new momentum in the development of scientific activities that will pathways for integrated management of Africa’s freshwater resources.

Fig. 1: Member Countries of the West African Sub-region


The Centre was established to pursue the following objectives and functions in close cooperation with IHP and water-related centres under the auspices of UNESCO.

a. Objectives

  1. Constitute a facilitator and synergetic structure providing the articulation of the different scientific and institutional stakeholders at local, national, regional and international levels, for the implementation of the IRBM particularly by facilitating interactions and providing support to River Basin Development Authorities or Organizations in the West African Region;
  2. Conduct and promote hydroinformatics, integrated water resources management and socio-economic research; and,
  3. Provide IRBM training and tertiary education facility for water professionals and practitioners in the West African region.

b. Functions

  1. Coordinate the implementation of co-operative research projects and studies with regional, national and local authorities as well as the private sectors;
  2. Build and run networking for information and knowledge exchange and capacity building in Member States of the West African Region;
  3. Organize training courses, seminars, workshops and meetings;
  4. Produce publications and other media for dissemination of information.


The legal instrument establishing the RC-IRBM creates its structure. The structure comprised of three (3) major bodies that include a Governing Board, Executive Committee and Secretariat. The Secretariat is responsible for day-to-day operations of the Centre and consists of a Directorate and three (3) departments. The departments are Education and Training, Research, and Networking and Information (Figure 2). The Board oversees the activities of the Secretariat and delegate such functions it deems necessary to the Executive Committee for effective running of the Centre between board meetings.

Executive Director

Dr. Emmanuel Adanu
Executive Director