5 July 2016
An environmentalist, Mr. Nnimmo Bassey, has urged the Lake Chad Basin Commission member countries to apply best practices in tackling the problems in the Lake Chad Basin.
Member countries of the commission are Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad, Niger, Central Africa Republic and Libya.
Bassey, who is the Director-General, of Mother of Earth Foundation, an NGO says if the problems of the basin are not addressed, more conflicts and violence will erupt in the area.
“Why is Lake Chad shrinking? One is global warming and number two is inefficient management of the watershed and this has caused displacement of both pastoralists and fisher folks who depend on the water.
“Some irrigation systems have been drawing water from the lake and their rate of taking water is more than the rate of recharge from rain, so this kind of thing needs to be managed properly.
“Countries in Lake Chad Basin Commission need to sit together and look at ways of enforcing best practices to maintain and protect the water treasures that we have.
“It takes international collaboration and cooperation to tackle the problems of Lake Chad otherwise, we will have more conflicts, more violence and we just keep crying about it,’’ he said.
The Lake Chad Basin is the largest endorheic drainage basin in Africa.
The basin, which is centred in Chad, has no outlet to the sea and contains large areas of desert or semi-arid savannah.
The drainage basin is roughly coterminous with the sedimentary basin of the same name, but extends further to the northeast and east.
The basin spans seven countries, including most of Chad and a large part of Niger.
As of 2011, it had an ethnically diverse population of about 30 million people – a population that is growing rapidly.
A combination of dams, increased irrigation, and reduced rainfall are also causing shortages of water in the lake.