WASCAL IS HIRING: CONSULTANCY – Sustainable Groundwater Resource development and utilization for enhanced agricultural productivity and resilience to impacts of climate change

Consultancy duration: Eight (8) Months – May to December 2024.

Consultancy Location:  Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso


The West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL) is a regionally and internationally recognized science-based Climate and Environmental Services (CES) Centre in West Africa. WASCAL was established to help increase the resilience of human and environmental systems to climate change, reduce vulnerability, and improve the livelihoods of present and future generations under the predicted climate change and variability conditions in West Africa.

Recently WASCAL has been engaged with FAO on artificial recharge and reuse of groundwater for small-scale irrigation for high-value crops for small-scale producers, and innovative ways of linking producers to markets. This initiative is building up on the results of the Pro-Sahel project implemented by FAO in 2022. The main objective of Pro-Sahel was to scale up tested and socially acceptable small-scale irrigation technologies. Pro-Sahel aimed at building a program that promotes sustainable small-scale irrigation and increases crop productivity, diversification of crop production, and post-harvest value chain activities in the Sahel. Boreholes will be drilled to allow the abstraction of groundwater for domestic including manufacturing and processing, irrigation, and livestock by communities around the dams. These boreholes (recharge and abstraction) will also be sources of data of several kinds. Groundwater artificial recharge will ensure the sustainability of small-scale irrigation schemes for smallholder farmers together with the resilience of local communities.


This assignment will focus on the following outputs:

  • state of the art on Groundwater resources recharge versus Food production systems
  • Analysis of the climate change impact on Groundwater recharge and adaptation approaches
  • Formulate directives for groundwater aquifer artificial recharge and retrieval.
  • Investment roadmap for water resources development and use for small-scale irrigation.

The consultant will have the following major activity blocks for the coming 6 months:

Data collection and analyses to demonstrate the state of the art of groundwater versus food production and the climate change impact on water resources with a focus on groundwater.

  • Literature review, text mining, and mapping stakeholders in groundwater, groundwater recharge, groundwater pumping systems and micro-irrigation in the Sahel
  • Supporting the organization stakeholder consultation workshops, meetings, interviews, and a validation workshop.
  • Definition of criteria for site selection in river basins of the Ouest-African Sahel.
  • Screening and Selection of demonstration sites for pilots SPIS and aquifers artificial recharge.

To achieve the above-mentioned tasks, the following methodology will be applied:

  • Supporting the desktop review analysis and the combination of climate change impact- aspects with existing food production systems and Groundwater resource development/management will lead to the proposal of sustainable intervention actions and targeted sites.
  • Combination of several mapping resources to identify the groundwater, artificial recharge, water-harvesting, micro-irrigation potentials of the Sahel under a changing climate.
  • Supporting the field visits and stakeholder consultation to identify different key players in the region and confirm potential pilot sites.
  • Support the production of a program proposal and investment roadmap in the Sahel

Key Performance Indicators and Means of Verification: 

  • High-quality report on the state-of-the-art Groundwater resources recharge and food production systems in the Sahel
  • Directives for groundwater aquifer artificial recharge , monitoring and retrieval
  • High-quality report on climate change impact on groundwater recharge and adaptation options
  • Final reports of 2 stakeholder consultation workshops

Application procedure

Application including a cover letter (no more than two pages) with a statement of motivation highlighting the candidate’s experience in the Sahel & West Africa Groundwater Management recharge and food production systems; GIS & Remote sensing, stakeholder mapping and stakeholder consultations, data collection tools and methods, etc. and a detailed Curriculum Vitae should be emailed to candidature@wascal.org with a copy to sanfo.s@wascal.org.

 Please indicate CONSULTANCY in the subject line.

Applicants must come from ECOWAS member countries. For further information, please visit: www.wascal.org