Members of the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) have begun moves that will lead to the recharge of shrinking Lake Chad.
The shrinkage of Lake Chad has been one of the main factors responsible for insurgency and socio-economic unrests in the Lake Chad Basin Commission member countries, which include Cameroon, Chad, Niger, Nigeria, Algeria, the Central African Republic, Libya, and Sudan.
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Major sources of livelihood including farming and fishing of about 40 million people living along the Chad Basin are said to be affected.
Consequently, stakeholders within the member countries, at various conferences, identified inter-basin water transfer project as the realistic solution confronting the receding Lake.
As a first step towards the water transfer project, the Commission, in collaboration with Nigeria Federal Ministry of Water Resources, yesterday, began the process of opening and evaluating international bids to select consultant that will conduct in-depth studies to improve the hydraulic capacity of the Chari and Logone rivers.
Chari and Logone rivers are the major tributaries to the Lake.
Chairman LCBC council of ministers and Nigeria’s minister of water resources, Engr. Suleiman Adamu, said the exercise was to take steps towards improving the water flow conditions of the Chari River and the development of Lake Chad as the first phase of the inter-basin water transfer project.
“The in-depth studies of Rivers Chari and Logone is pivotal for the revitalization of Lake Chad and necessary to sustainably address the effects of climate change, youth unemployment and endemic poverty in the region,’’ he said.
Earlier, Executive Secretary, Lake Chad Basin Commission, Ambassador Mamman Nuhu, said the commission launched the international call for tenders in January 2021 to select a consultant that would conduct the in-depth studies to improve the hydraulic capacity of the Chari and Logone rivers.
“The study is aimed at addressing the challenges of excessive loss of water through flood and evapotranspiration, degradation of the riverbanks due to fluvial erosion and siltation of the rivers which has continued to contribute to the shrinkage of the Lake,’’ he said.