Nigeria’s $23 billion Lake Chad ambition

Earlier this month, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari reiterated his campaign to revive Lake Chad and expanded his push to enlist European and North American countries in the project.

Lake Chad supports nearly 30 million people who live in Chad, Cameroon, Niger and Nigeria.

As previously reported in The Daylighter, the lake has lost 90 percent of its original surface area since 1963.

This is due to both climate change and water mismanagement, and has spurred regional conflict, devastation and large-scale migration.

Buhari said in a statement that “climate change is real … We are trying to prick the conscience of the developed countries that have the resources and the technology to quickly execute the interbasin transfer from Congo Basin to Chad Basin.”

Last summer, Nigeria announced an ambitious plan to begin a “recharge” of Lake Chad by digging a 1,553-mile channel from the Congo River Basin to bring new water. It is estimated to cost $23 billion.

Buhari said that helping Africa create an interbasin water-transfer system is the greatest investment donor countries can make in Africa, because it will discourage migration by “people who depended on the lake for fishing, farming, animal husbandry,” and other activities dependent on the lake’s currently receding waters.

Sources: This Day (Nigeria), The Nation (Nigeria)

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