A conference for Lake Chad opens today, Monday (February 26th) in Abuja, Nigeria for three days.
This lake, bordered by 4 countries, Chad, Niger, Nigeria and Cameroon is at the centre of multiple issues, both environmental, economic, political and security, since it has also become a base for the withdrawal of Boko Haram terrorists.
The goal is to launch a project to preserve the region.
The international conference on the Lake Chad Basin kicked off on Monday, February 26 with an opening speech by Nigerian Vice President Osinbajo. For three days, scientists, politicians and investors from all over the world will try to launch a plan to “rescue” this area threatened by drought and insecurity.
In 40 years, the lake has lost 90% of its surface water. This has led to a weakening of populations, a shortage of food. Small-scale farmers and fishermen ended up feeding the Boko Haram fighters, or the ranks of the militia who opposed them, plunging the region into great instability.
According to the United Nations, 2 million people have had to leave their homes in the region and 10.7 million depend on food aid to survive.
It is therefore in response to this crisis that the political elites of the Lake Chad Basin Commission meet to devise solutions and revive their rescue project. The challenge: to ward off the terrorist threat by reviving a regional economy for the time being bloodless.
Stop the disappearance of the lake
The main objective of the conference is to create a global awareness of the socio-economic and environmental challenges of the region. The second objective is to develop a detailed action plan to preserve the lake from extinction.
Already, the United Nations has committed to fund research and conservation programs for $6.5 million or more than 5million euros.
The conference is to open a global dialogue between the countries of the Lake Chad Basin Commission, UNESCO, international experts and potential donors. Round tables and plenary sessions should open avenues for reflection. Among the restoration options, a colossal water transfer project from the Congo River to Lake Chad. A study signed by the Chinese company “PowerChina”.
A high level meeting is scheduled for the third day. It will see the participation of all the heads of state of the member countries of the Lake Chad Basin Commission.