In the just concluded International Conference on saving Lake Chad with the theme “Saving the Lake Chad to revitalize the Basin’s ecosystem for sustainable livelihood, security and development”, the six Heads of State of the Basin namely; Cameroon, Niger, Nigeria, Chad, Central Africa and Libya have unanimously agreed that the time to save the drying Lake Chad is now.
Addressing the other Heads of State, delegates, experts and participants at the conference on Wednesday 28th February, 2018 in Abuja, the Head of Nigerian Government, President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR said that the International Conference was designed with a view to finding workable solutions in resuscitating the Lake Chad to the benefit of all member countries of the Basin and to the ecological balance of a large area of West Africa. He said “the Lake Chad is very dear to our heart as it is a source of livelihood to over 45 million people living in the Basin”.
Mr. President added if the drying Lake is not recharged on time, it is going to have disastrous effects on the entire Basin environs. “This Lake, which is one of the oldest Lakes in Africa, is shared by Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Chad, Niger and Nigeria. The people living in the Basin depend on the Lake Chad for Agriculture, Fisheries and Livestock for their economic well-being”.
“Unfortunately, today that is all history. The “oasis in the desert” is just a desert now, due to the drying up of the Lake Chad. This has resulted in dire consequences for our people”, he explained.
The Honourable Minister of Water Resources, Engr. Suleiman H. Adamu commended all the Heads of State for showing political will by their attendance. He particularly thanked President Mohammadu Buhari for providing the enabling environment for hosting of the Conference.
Adamu said that the Conference has indeed availed participants the opportunity to brainstorm on how best this all important treasure of ours can be resuscitated for sustainable development.
Issuing the communiqué, it was recommended that to be able to save the Lake, all member States of Lake through the Commission should adopt viable solutions such as integrated Water Resources Management, establish a mechanism for mobilizing domestic resources to raise fund and provide efficient policing of the Lake released water bodies.
Finally, there should be a regional cooperation in tackling the Lake Chad Basin problems and other water issues in Africa.
Margaret E. Umoh
Director (Press & Public Relations unit)