Hèou Maléki BADJANA, Hydrologist and Research Associate (Togo)

Hèou Maléki Badjana’s research in hydro-climate analysis and land change while engaging both locals and decision-makers is playing a crucial role in developing best practices in water conservation and integrated natural resource management in Togo and Benin.

Current position: Post-doctoral Research Assistant in Hydrological Modelling at the University of Reading, UK

Research focus: assessing hydro-climatic and land use changes in order to develop strategies that allow for more integrated land and water resource management

Combatting resource scarcity and mitigating the effects of climate change are crucial for sustainable development in West Africa. Finding ways to predict changes to land and water stores over time is a fundamental element of doing so. Badjana’s research examines land use change and hydrologic processes in river basins in West Africa in order to develop strategies for sustainable natural resource management.

Using statistical, analytical and observational techniques, Badjana is able to chart hydro-climatic variables and to make predictions about how these might change over time. He also uses remote sensing and GIS techniques to assess the impacts of land use changes on landscapes. Badjana conducts socio-economic surveys as a means of integrating the knowledge of local populations, an important component of integrated natural resource management.

Badjana is currently working at the Department of Geography and Environmental Science within the LANDWISE (LAND management in lowland catchments for integrated flood risk reduction) project. In 2014, he was awarded a research grant from the International Foundation for Sciences in Switzerland along with a full PhD scholarship from WASCAL (West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use). As a research associate at the University of Lomé, Badjana also worked as a volunteer hydrologist for the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre in the Netherlands and as a consultant in sustainable wetland management for the Ministry of Environment and Forest Resources in his home country of Togo. Badjana has published and peer-reviewed several notable papers within his field of study.

The jury favoured Badjana’s work for his implementation of multidisciplinary methodological techniques. The result is a robust and comprehensive body of research on hydro-climate analysis and land use change in regions that have not been adequately investigated. They were happy with the emphasis he places on collaborating with locals and decision makers as part of his research.