The Federal Government has contributed the sum of $5,000,000 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.
The amount would be used for feasibility studies for Water Transfer from Central Africa Republic (C.A.R) to the lake. This was contained in a release signed by the Public Relations Officer, Water Resources Ministry, Mrs. Boade Akinola.
President Goodluck Jonathan announced this at the Roundtable Donors Conference for restoration of Lake Chad Basin organised by Africa Development Bank (AfDB) in partnership with Member states in Italy.
The president, who was represented by the Minister of Water Resources, Mrs. Sarah Ochekpe, at the conference said 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 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.
President Jonathan said the five-year investment plan includes five activities that would cost a total sum of 925,809,802 Euros, 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.
“Nigeria reaffirms its firm commitment and support to Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) and Member States towards the realisation of all identified programmes that serve to address the challenges of the receding Lake Chad and thus improve the living standards of population within the Basin” he said. He added that Nigeria would encourage governments, corporate bodies and individuals to effectively contribute and support the national effort.