The Federal Government of Nigeria has contributed the sum of N8.5 billion ($5 million) for the feasibility study to restore Lake Chad Basin which receded from about 25,000 square kilometres in 1960 to about 2,500 square kilometres at present, a reduction of 90 per cent.
The amount would be used for the feasibility studies for water transfer from the Central Africa Republic (C.A.R) to the lake.
President Goodluck Jonathan, announced this at a Roundtable Donors Conference for the restoration of Lake Chad Basin organised by the African Development Bank (AfDB) in partnership with member states in Italy over the weekend.
Represented at the conference by the minister of water resources, Mrs Sarah Ochekpe, the president said that the Donors’ Conference was organised to source for fund for the five-year investment plan and for the preparation towards the Inter Water Transfer to resuscitate Lake Chad. He explained that the receding of Lake Chad has impacted negatively on agricultural production, pastoral and fishery activities, constituting huge threat to the economy of over 30 million people living within the catchment.
According to him, safeguarding the Lake Chad for the benefit of millions of people would impact positively on poverty reduction in the region, translate to saving the livelihood of the people of the region, reduce insecurity, improve waterways navigation, boost communication and also increase agricultural production in the region.
Jonathan said that the five- year investment plan includes five activities that would cost a total sum of £926 billion for the development of socio economic infrastructure, conservation of the ecosystem, restoration and protection of natural resources, capacity building and the involvement of stakeholders in the integrated water resources management, and sustainable use of water resources and restoration of the environment and thus assured that Nigeria would continue to support the programme towards restoration of Lake Chad Basin.
He added that Nigeria would encourage governments, corporate bodies and individuals to effectively contribute and support the national effort.
Source : Leadership