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Assessment of the Nigerian National Hydrological Service

An example of the implementation of the methodology depicted in the Handbook for Review of National Capabilities is the study conducted by the Nigerian Government with support from WMO to assess the status of the Nigerian NHS.

Nigerian participants in the national workshop

Participants in the national workshop

The water endowments of Nigeria have been placed in the forefront of the national agenda of development programmes by the Government for the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals. To find solutions to the growing problems of water resources the Government has taken the initiative to revamp hydrological activities in Nigeria and strengthen hydrological services and networks which are vital to the formulation of sound integrated water resources planning and development projects, especially in the context of the extended drought and climate variability that has plagued West Africa in general and Nigeria in particular, in the last three decades. A WMO consultant carried out field work and visited relevant agencies and establishments in May 2006. This was followed by a two-day workshop involving various stakeholders (from Federal Ministry of Water Resources, River Basin Development Authorities, Water Boards, etc) and experts (from Universities and various institutions).

The objective of this study was to:

a) Evaluate the current status of administrative and functional set-up of the Nigerian Hydrological Service (NHS) vis-à-vis the needs of the clients;
b) Assess the status of hydrological network and its efficacy to meet the needs and requirements of the services; with particular attention to the gauging stations with respect to their instrumentation, reliability and functionality as hydrological network stations from which basic hydrological data such as water stage and discharge values could be obtained
c) Identify the shortcomings and propose measures to improve the operation of an adequate hydrological observation network, to enable NHS to provide information of a consistent quality to the national data base and end users.
d) Assess the technical and institutional capacity of the NHS for collecting, processing, archiving and disseminating the hydrological data, information and products;
e) Evaluate the current status and performance of hydrological measuring instruments and propose measures to establish the most cost-effective way to calibrate the instruments;
f) Propose measures to improve the hydrological database; and
g) Propose measures to strengthen the national capacity for water resources monitoring and assessment in Nigeria in support of water resources management.

The final report is to be delivered to the Nigerian Government which, on the basis of it, would take the necessary actions and design the appropriate policies to ensure the maximum contribution of the hydrological activities to the development of the country.
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