The Federal Government may be considering cheaper options to recharge Lake Chad Basin other than the initial plan of transferring water from River Congo to the Basin.
Initial report has it that the country may require $15 million to recharge the lake and prevent it from shrinking, but the Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu said that government may have to find workable solutions that may be cheaper than the inter basin water transfer.
Receiving the United Nations Deputy Secretary General in his office, Adamu disclosed that study done by PowerChina shows that it is technically feasible to transfer water from River Congo to Lake Chad, thereby increasing the level of the lake.
He further unfolded plans by the Heads of States and Government of the Lake Chad Basin Commission to organize an international conference in Abuja from February 26-28, 2018 to proffer solutions on saving the drying Lake Chad.
Adamu who stated that the main objective of the conference is to find workable solutions in recharging the drying up of the basin, said “In the next 50 to 100 years from hydrological perspective, if nothing is done now, the lives of the people of that region that depends on the lake as their source of livelihood would be in danger as the Lake faces extinction”.
This, according to him would halt the receding of the Lake and the drying of the north basin due to climate change.
The Minister disclosed that to cushion the effects of the insurgency in the northeast, the Ministry in the last two years have been budgeting about a billion naira annually to water supply and sanitation facilities for the IDPs nationwide
Earlier, the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, , Mrs. Amina Mohammed said that the purpose of the high-level mission was to scale up UN presence in the North East in particular and Nigeria in general.
She said UN is more committed in the re-integration process on-going in the North East as well as in the planned Conference of Saving Lake Chad that is scheduled for February. She charged Heads of States and Government of the Lake Chad Basin Commission to consider passing the resolutions of the Conference in a communiqué to the African Union (AU) for further action.
In her words: “saving the Lake Chad is a sustainable development issue and the UN is ever ready in addressing such an issue. All hands must be on deck in saving the Lake from extinction. Tell us how it can work and not how it cannot work,” Amina said.