FG Prpopses Global dialogue to save drying Lake Chad
In its determination to save the drying up of Lake Chad Basin, the Federal Government has initiated a bilateral engagement to organize an international conference on Lake Chad.
The Honourable Minister of Water Resources, Engr. Suleiman H. Adamu, FNSE stated this on Thursday 23rd February, 2017 when the UNESCO delegation led by the Assistant Director-General paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja.
Adamu stated that there is the need to draw international attention to the drastic drying up of the Lake in order to save the over 47million people living around the lake who depend on it for farming, fishing and livestock production as well as water supply for drinking and sanitation.
According to the Minister, the Conference would look at ways of drawing experts to proffering solutions on how to save the Lake aside from the feasibility study of inter Basin transfer from Oubangui River in Central African Republic to the lake as agreed by Heads of State and Government of the Lake Chad Basin.
Continuing, he said that one of the major objectives of the conference is on poverty alleviation of the population who depend on the resources of the Lake Chad Basin that has shrunk to about 4,68km2 due to the effect of climate change.
He said that discussion should focus on developing a consensus on the feasibility of other options for resuscitation of the Lake Chad. Adding that Federal Government as a fall out of the 14th Summit of Heads of State and Governments of the Lake Chad Basin Commission of April, 2016 to save Chad of drying up, the Lake Chad Basin Commission and the POWERCHINA International Group Limited signed a Memoradum of Understanding (MoU) to actualize the transfer of water from the Congo Basin to Lake Chad Basin.
Adamu said that with the expanded study done by POWERCHINA, it shows that it is technically feasible to transfer water from river Congo to Lake Chad thereby increasing the level of the lake. This, according to the Honourable Minister would halt the receding of the lake and the drying of the north basin due to climate change. But government is looking at all the possible options available at saving the Lake.
In his response, the UNISCO Assistant Director-General Mr. Matoko Firnin said that they are aware of the sensitive nature and implications of the drying up of the Lake Chad as all the issues occasioned by the drying up of the Lake are associated with the core mandates of UNESCO.
He therefore called on all stakeholders to garner the political will to deliberate on all possible sources of financing so as to be able to address the challenges facing the Basin.