Executive Intelligence Review
Subscribe to EIR

PRESS RELEASE


UNESCO Backs Campaign To Save Lake Chad

Nov. 11, 2017 (EIRNS)—Nigeria’s Water Minister Suleiman Adamu announced that UNESCO is backing an international campaign to save Lake Chad from drying up. UNESCO is sponsoring an international conference in February in the Nigerian capital of Abuja, where the solution advocated by Nigeria and by the Lake Chad Basin Committee will be presented.

Adamu said that the commission had proposed inter-basin water transfer from Congo Basin to the evaporating lake as a measure of saving it from total extinction.

"This is a huge infrastructure project that will change the dynamics of the region and it is a long- term project with a lot of consensus to build on, as well as diplomatic issues having to do with different countries,"

Adamu said according to PM News Nigeria media outlet.

"We therefore need to do a lot of advocacy to make the members of the Congo Basin understand that we are not taking away their water but taking only 5% of the natural resource to keep the Lake Chad alive,”

he said.

"We hope that at the end of the conference in February next year, we will have an international consensus on what to do, leverage on and how to get a lot of resources and funding."

Adamu, who was attending a UNESCO General Conference in Paris, said that they considered the inter-basin water transfer as the most suitable option, but that they would not, however, insist on it, and "allow the UNESCO experts to advise on any cheaper available alternatives, if any," as PM News reported. Adamu told PM News that the initial study on the project costed the water transfer project at $14 billion.

"We have a 60,000 hectares irrigation scheme under the South-Chad Irrigation scheme, which was designed to depend on intake of water from the Lake Chad to irrigate the 60,000 hectares for the production of wheat. That irrigation scheme is not working now because the water is not available. We need the water to revive that investment. All the efforts the administration had been making to boost food production and reduce food imports stands to benefit if the Lake Chad is revived,”

he said.

Adamu said that a lot of other economic activities would be revived and the general livelihood of the people in the area would improve with the revival of the lake. The lake, on which the lives of 30 million people depend, is bordered by Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad, and Niger; it has shrunk by 90%.

"Clearly, the major factor of the Boko Haram insurgency is that there are lots of young people that are living in that area without any opportunity whatsoever because of the shrinking lake. Herdsmen had been forced to move southward and eastward and you can see that crises are getting increased between farmers and herdsmen,”

he said.