Nigeria, Niger, Chad move to rehabilitate Lake Chad basin

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Published September 15, 2019
https://punchng.com/nigeria-niger-chad-move-to-rehabilitate-lake-chad-basin/

Nigeria, Niger and Chad are working on a joint trans-border agroecosystem project aimed at the restoration of livelihoods and rehabilitation of the Lake Chad Basin.

Director-General, National Agency for the Great Green Wall, Dr Bukar Hassan, disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria after an international conference on desertification on Sunday in New Delhi, India.

NAN reports that the 14th Conference of Parties (CoP 14) to UN Convention to Combat Desertification was held at India Expo Centre and Mart from Sept. 2 to Sept. 13.

He said that since environmental issues did not recognize national boundaries, the partnership would help to rehabilitate agricultural system, restore degraded land and livelihoods of people in Lake Chad basin.

According to him, the project includes promotion of agroforestry and livestock development in the three participating countries bordering the Lake Chad Basin.

The Director General said that Lake Chad, which was located in a very dry area, had lost about 90 per cent of its water over the years, thus making farming unattractive in the basin.

“Today, agriculture is no longer practised in the Nigerian side of the Lake Chad Basin.

“So, our responsibility as an agency of Nigerian government is to make sure that we regain what we lost in terms of water (which has created huge unemployment among the people) and empower the people to be able to get back their land which was lost due to the disappearance of lake.

“We will also make sure that the boundary of the lake is afforested to stabilise the basin.

“The Lake Chad basin was one of the worst degraded areas in the world with the attendant humanitarian crisis.

“That’s why our president is keen on seeing that the basin is rehabilitated because the insurgency affecting the three participating countries is all linked to environmental degradation.

(Continued)

Author: Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.