Fish ponds in Niger

Impacts addressed
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A fish farmer from the Saga Gorou community looking after his fish pond

Country/region/village: Niger/Niamey/Saga Gorou

Community: Saga Gorou


For decades, old practitioners of Saga Gorou fish community have developed knowledge and shared best practices on fish breeding techniques and fish pond management in response to early dry rainfall seasons and early reduction of water levels of lakes as an endogenous adaptation technique. Climate change is exasperating the low fish productivity during rainy season caused by early water surface shortage of the ponds and lakes. Temperature rises are leading to coral reef bleaching and affecting water circulation with negative effects on freshwater fish (reduced water quality, lowered lake level) and ultimately fishery ecosystem vulnerability. Currently, the rights of ownership and use of fish ponds are acquired primarily through inheritance.


The rise of inland temperatures and early dry rainfall season are the most significant climate drivers of the low productivity of fisheries in Niger. In fact, these two drivers of climate variability and changes lower the fish productivity as fish abundance and water quality are adversely affected. As in many sub Saharan coastal zones and lake areas, fisheries and fish farming are key sectors which are contributing extensively to the means of community livelihoods (i.e. income generation, food, etc.). In this regard, adverse climate patterns are increasing the climate vulnerability of coastal zones such as the Saga Gorou. To face these climate effects, Saga Gorou community developed an adapted farming fish pond technique set up alongside the surrounding areas of their watershed ecosystem. Fishermen construct a pond with cement (diameter of 3 to 6m and height of 50cm to 3m) for farming fish (Clarias gariepinus and Heterobranchus longifilis). In addition to the pond preparation (identification of sites, water replenishment, etc.), fishermen master stocking of fingerlings method to ensure a proper transportation of selected species from the lakes to the ponds. Men and women are working to perform daily monitoring and maintenance of fish ponds (water quality, biological development of fishes, etc.). The development of the farmer-fishing ponds have allowed the fishermen of Saga Gorou to cope with the high climate vulnerability of fisheries and aquaculture, to generate remarkably financial income and contribute to the climate resilience of the household and the entire community.

Breeders have proven knowledge and experience in pond layout, stocking techniques and maintenance. Practitioners regularly visit sites to increase community awareness of the benefits of the ponds. In addition to domestic consumption, practitioners generate significant income through the sale of the fish production. The technology contributes to the rational management of fisheries resources and particularly to the conservation of species susceptible to the early drying of temporary pools;


Benefits of the technology 

  • Economic sustainability: very low operating expenses,
  • Environment: Protection and conservation of fishery resources threatened by climatic hazards
  • Strengthening social cohesion with training and mutual support
  • Revenue generation through the sale of fish
  • Contribution to food and nutritional security of households 


The direct beneficiaries are the pond owners as well as their families. Indirect beneficiaries are the community of Saga Guru including children, women and traders in the area.


Gender considerations

The construction of fish ponds and the daily operations and maintenance (fingerlings stocking, permanent monitoring, etc.) are mainly performed by the owners of the ponds made up of men and representing heads of households. However, women intervene actively during the fish harvesting and sell a portion of the fish harvested. 


Potential for technology transfer and up-scaling

Recommendation for technology transfer: 

  • Training and monitoring by experienced practitioners
  • Sensitization
  • Promotion and dissemination (radio, exchange visits) of good management practices and stocking of ponds.
  • Increase training sessions to potential users.

A potential barrier is the high material costs for the construction of fish ponds (i.e. cement)


Bello O. M. M. 2016. Bonnes Pratiques en matière de gestion des terres, gestion des ressources naturelles et changements climatiques, rapport  Intermédiaire, CILSS,  84 p.

Dramé A. 2015. Vulnérabilité et adaptation aux changements climatiques : étude de cas des communautés humaines vivant aux alentours des Aires Marines Protégées de Bamboung, de Joal-Fadiouth et de Cayar (Sénégal), 262 p.

Dramé A. Kiema A. 2016. Connaissances endogènes : les bonnes pratiques d’atténuation et d’adaptation aux changements climatiques en Afrique de l’Ouest, Enda Energie, 94 p

SOSANGA, N. Y. 2014. Caractérisation des trous traditionnels à poissons du haut delta de l'Ouémé au Bénin: Typologie, fonctionnement, biodiversité et productivité. Mémoire de fin de cycle. INSTITUT DU DEVELOPPEMENT RURAL (UNIVERSITE POLYTECHNIQUE DE BOBO-DIOULASSO). 114 p.

Toko .I.I 2011. Analyse des systèmes piscicoles dans la Vallée du Niger (Nord Bénin), International Journal of Biological and Chemical Sciences 1993-2003, October 2011