Member states launch roadmap for Lake Chad restoration

The shrinking Lake Chad
The shrinking Lake Chad

Member states of the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) have expressed willingness to implement the roadmap for the restoration of the shrinking Lake Chad, called the Abuja Charter.

In a communiqué issued at the end of the three-day International Conference on Lake Chad in Abuja, on Wednesday, members expressed the need to take the restoration of the basin as a Pan-African project.

The LCBC countries are: Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Chad, Libya, Niger, and Nigeria.

The communiqué calls on all the LCBC member states to demonstrate high political will to save the Lake Chad region.

It urged member-nations to implement integrated measures such as afforestation, biotechnology, drop irrigation among others to minimise water evaporation from the basin.

The communiqué also urged the member states to establish an economic free trade zone to serve as a hub for trade, job creation and poverty alleviation in the region.

It commended the Italian Government for the provision of 1.5 million Euros for the feasibility study and best viable options for the restoration of the Lake Chad area.

Prof. Salihu Mustafa, a Nigerian, who spoke on behalf of member states made recommendations that there were no other options to restoring the shrinking lake apart from water transfer.

He called on all stakeholders to take the project as a pan-African goal and achieve results.

Mustafa said it was important for the African Development Bank to mobilise the proposed $50 billion to fund the Inter-Basin Water transfer in the region.

The  three-day conference came to a close with the appointment of Ambassador Mamman Nuhu, as the Executive Secretary of the LCBC.

Nuhu replaces Engr. Sanusi Abdullahi, who also served as the Head of Mission of the Multi-National Joint Task Force.