Saving the Lake Chad

Venue : Abuja-Nigeria  

As part of the initiatives of restoring the Lake Chad, the International Conference on “Lake Chad” was held on 26-28 February 2018 in Abuja, Nigeria, with the theme "Saving the Lake Chad to revitalize the Basin’s ecosystem for sustainable livelihood, security and development". The Conference was organized by the Federal Government of Nigeria and the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC), with the support of the United Nation Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The objective of the Conference was to raise awareness at the international level on the socio-economic and environmental challenges caused by the shrinkage of the Lake Chad, which are resulting into threats and insecurity (UNESCO).

The Lake Chad has decreased about 95% in 60 years as a result of drought, lower levels of rainfall, effects of the climate change, etc. This so-called ecological disaster has not only impacted the livelihoods but also led to the loss of invaluable biodiversity (H. G. Campbell, 2018).

The Lake Chad Basin is shared by eight countries, including Algeria, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Chad, Libya, Nigeria, Niger and Sudan, which occupies a land surface estimated to be eight per cent the size of Africa. The total population of all these countries is estimated at 373.6 million with 12 per cent estimated living around the Lake Chad Basin.

In March 2019, during the 46th Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) held in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, important measures were taken towards saving the Lake Chad Basin by adapting a resolution on “Replenishing of Lake Chad”. In the resolution, all OIC Member States and relevant OIC development financing institutions were requested to support the Transaqua project, which consists of a 2,400 km waterway channeling between 30 to 50 billion cubic meters of water from the right-side tributaries of the Congo River to the Lake Chad. It was also requested that “OIC Member States and relevant OIC institutions to support the Lake Chad Basin countries' efforts towards addressing humanitarian and developmental needs of displaced persons and communities in the Lake Chad Basin area”.

Relevant Documents:

Resolutions of the OIC:

Feasibility Study of the Water Transfer Project from the Ubangi to Lake Chad

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