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Guinea is part of:
Africa · Western Africa ·
Water Basins of Guinea:
Cavally · Cestos · Corubal · Geba · Great Scarcies · Little Scarcies · Loffa · Moa · Niger Basin · Sassandra · Senegal Basin · St.John (Africa) · St.Paul ·
Facts & Figures edit
Capital Conakry
Neighbouring Countries Cote d Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Sierra Leone, Senegal
Total Area 245,857 km2
  - Water 0 km2 (0.00%) / 0 m2/ha
  - Land 245,857 km2
Coastline 320 km
Population 9,402,098 (38 inhab./km2)
HDIA 0.383 (2007)
Gini CoefficientA 38.6 (1995)
Nominal GDPB $4,454 million
GDP (PPP) Per CapitaB $1,100
Land UseC
  - Cultivated Land 17,481 km2 (7.11%)
     - Arable 10,990 km2 (4.47%)
     - Permanent Crops 6,491 km2 (2.64%)
     - Irrigated 950 km2
  - Non cultivated 2,447,406 km2 (92.89%)
Average Annual RainfallD 1651 mm
Renewable Water ResourcesE 226 km3
Water WithdrawalsF 1.51 km3/yr
  - For Agricultural Use 90%
  - For Domestic Use 8%
  - For Industrial Use 2%
  - Per Capita 179 m3
Population with safe access to
  - Improved Water Source 50%
     - Urban population 78%
     - Rural population 35%
  - Improved Sanitation 18%
     - Urban population 31%
     - Rural population 11%
References & Remarks
A UNDP Human Development Report
B CIA World Factbook and Wikipedia
C CIA World Factbook Country Profiles
D Aquastat - FAO's Information System on Water and Agriculture
E CIA World Factbook
F Earthtrends



Country Profile: Climate, Geography, Socio-Economic Context

Country Profile: Water Bodies and Resources

Guinea is the source of every major West African river, and the country’s watersheds are critical to the stability of water resources internally and in six other West African countries. Guinea’s total renewable water resources are estimated at 226 cubic kilometers per year. These water resources are threatened by increasingly intense human activity and the risk of various kinds of pollution. The sustainable management of the Fouta Djallon highlands is a prerequisite for the efficient management of six major river basins – the Gambia, Kaba, Kolenté, Koliba, Niger and Senegal. Mountainous forests in the highlands are especially important in watershed protection.

Agriculture accounts for 90% of total water withdrawal in Guinea. The northern and highland areas of Guinea suffer from low rainfall and rely on irrigation for agriculture. Agriculture in the coastal and forest regions, which have better rainfall, only requires irrigation in the dry season.

Sixty-two percent of households in Guinea have access to safe drinking water. The water supply is in poor condition. In 1999–2000, the daily per capita water supply was 47 liters. By 2004, Conakry had a daily per capita water supply of 20 liters and inland towns had only 7 liters. Factors contributing to the drop in water supply include poor use of existing capacity both in Conakry and in the interior, rapid urbanization, and insufficient facilities. Compounding these factors are administrative and institutional problems such as: (1) lack of strong, stable institutions; (2) lack of an independent agency capable of restraining arbitrary government action, regulating private operators, and enforcing contractual arrangements; and (3) lack of adequate conflict-resolution mechanisms for contract disputes. Inland households increasingly depend on wells and rivers for their water supply, which increases the risk of waterborne disease.

Tenure Issues

At the local level, water is managed by local authorities and districts. Local authorities grant water-use rights insofar as they do not contradict the Water Code. In Conakry and some other urban areas, water rights are leased to operators. The water sector operator is responsible for collecting revenues and meeting operating and maintenance costs. The operator retains any surplus as profit. Although the use of lease contracts initially improved access to water sources in urban areas, increasing water tariffs have restricted poorer users from access, and many sources have since become inactive. The government is responsible for financing new investments within the water sector.

At the national and international levels water is a potential source of conflict. As with most countries in Africa, Guinea is particularly vulnerable to geopolitical implications of hydrological variations. Climate change, pollution from mining activities and scarcity of water contribute to tensions and even conflicts over water resources within Guinea and among West African states.

Country Profile: Legal and Institutional Environment

Legal Framework

Guinea’s Water Code (1994) provides the general management framework of water resources in the country. The Code covers rights of use, prevention of harm to water resources, hydrology works and installations, protected water zones and areas, planning and administration of the water resources, financing, tariffs and regulation of international waters.

In addition to the Water Code, a plethora of formal laws have provisions governing water resources. The Land Code (1992) governs issues of water cleansing (rainwater, wastewater, waste solids and liquids) and urban hydrology. The Environment Code (1987) regulates continental water (subsoil and surface water), maritime water, and matters pertaining to environmental protection of water resources. The Forestry Code (1989) covers water conservation in relation to forest resources. The Mining Code (1995) covers geothermic subterranean water impacted by mining operations, and the Public Health and Sanitation Code (1997) addresses matters related to drinking water (FAO 2005).

Under customary and Islamic religious law, water resources are considered gifts of Allah. As such, water is considered a common-pool resource and cannot belong to anyone as private property. Some villages have communal management systems governing water access and use that reflect the persistence of customary and religious law, while in other areas reliance on communal systems has declined with installation of household wells.

Institutional Framework

The Ministry of Energy and Water Resources is charged with the conception, elaboration, implementation and the control of policy related to water resources and energy. The state-owned national water authority, Société Nationale des Eaux de Guinée (SONEG), and the Société d’Exploitation des Eaux de Guinée (SEEG), manage the country’s water resources at the national level, while local authorities are in charge of granting and managing use-rights at the local level.

Other institutions involved in water resources include: (1) the Ministry for Fishing and Aquaculture; (2) the Ministry of Agriculture; (3) the Ministry of the Environment; (4) the Ministry of Decentralization and Local Government; (5) the Ministry of Mines and Geology; and (6) National Directorate of Water Resources.

Guinea is included in the Niger, Senegal and Gambia river basins. The country is a member of the Authority of the Basin of Niger (ABN) and the Organization of Development of the Gambia River (OMVG).

Government Reforms

The Government of Guiena’s water resource management strategy focuses on improving access to drinking water, fighting water pollution, and achieving better water control for agriculture and livestock-breeding. Guinea’s PRSP II (2007–2010) identifies the following priorities in the water sector: (1) increasing the water supply in urban areas; (2) increasing supplies of safe drinking water; (3) reforming the sector’s institutions; (4) improving private sector participation in the development and management of the water sector; (5) developing production infrastructure (especially well-drilling facilities); and (6) rehabilitating watering points that are more than 10 years old. The Government of Guinea is committed to drafting a National Program for Providing Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation in Rural Areas by 2015.

Country Profile: Water Sector Coordination

See Sector coordination sub-page for detailed description

Country Profile: Trends in Water Use, Management and Sanitation

Country Profile: Challenges and Opportunities

Donor Interventions

Both USAID] and FAO have projects focusing on the preservation and management of water resources of the Fouta Djallon highlands in the center of Guinea, which is the source of the Niger, Gambia, and Senegal Rivers. USAID has supported the international NGO, Population Services International (PSI), in its safe water initiatives in Guinea.

USAID partnered with the Ministry of Agriculture and other institutions on a climate change project that included the development of water control technologies. The World Bank supports watershed management projects in Guinea, as well as the development of water sanitation facilities.


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Projects and Case Studies

Projects in or about Guinea

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Case studies in or about Guinea

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5 most recently updated publications on Guinea

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Who is Who

People working in Guinea

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Organizations working in Guinea
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See also

External Resources

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