The Nigerian government says it is committed to supporting all programmes and policies targeted at restoring the Lake Chad basin.

The Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo on Monday told a gathering at the opening of the International Conference on Lake Chad held in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city.

The theme for the conference is: “Saving the Lake to Revitalise the Basin’s Ecosystem’’.

Saving the Lake Chad basin is a huge task that should be done to preserve the livelihood, fight insecurity and solve the humanitarian crises, as the implication of its shrinkage is grave, he stated. 

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According to the Vice President, the lake, which had shrunk from 25,000 square meters in the 60’s to 2,500 square meters presently, had no fewer than 30 million people relying on it for livelihood.

He said the past 30 years had seen tremendous efforts such as the Lake Chad Basin Water Transfer, and the proposed Inter-Basin water Transfer project from the Ubangui River in Congo.

“Lake Chad issue is an international issue with a global challenge and saving the lake is preserving the livelihood of millions of people.

“Nigeria would implement all recommendations made to restore the Lake Chad at the end of this conference,” Professor Osinbajo assured the gathering.

Also at the gathering was the Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, and in a speech he highlighted that despite poverty and the security challenges, the fresh water body is still a source of water supply for drinking, fisheries and other socio-economic activities.

“The lake is the epicenter of human, animal and plant life for the region, it contains a variety of habitats.

“The UN Environmental Programme in 2006 reported that persistent drought and ravages of rapidly growing human population have decimated it."

Also Read: Why Nigeria Must Review Climate Change Policy

The Executive Secretary, Lake Chad Basin Commission, Sanusi Abdullahi, said insurgency, climate change, non-payment of annual contributions were some of the challenges militating against full implementation of its programmes in the region.

According to him, there is the need to mobilise partnership for reversing the devastating effect of the Lake Chad.

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