The minister of water Resources, Engr Suleiman Adamu, has raised the alarm over the shrinking of the of the Lake Chad Basin, as a result of climate change and human demand for water.
He lamented that the Lake Chad, once one of Africa’s largest bodies of fresh water, has dramatically decreased in size, saying if nothing is done to reverse this trend, the survival of over 40 million people living around the Chad Basin is not guaranteed.
The minister stated this when the French ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Denys Gauer led French Development Agency (AFD) on a courtesy visit to the his office in Abuja.
He said “ the Lake Chad is now a ghost of its former self. Since 1963, the lake has shrunk to nearly a twentieth of its original size.’’
The minister noted that most of the surrounding countries around the lake are mostly French colonies, adding that since the AFD is a public development-finance institute that is working to fight poverty and support economic growth in developing countries and French overseas communities, it should therefore consider coming to the aid of Lake Chad.
In his remarks, the French ambassador submitted that all hands must be on deck in reviving the lake, assuring that with France interest in irrigation, the lake would once again become a source of freshwater for irrigation projects.
On AFD, the ambassador stated that France through AFD has been collaborating with Nigeria through the ministry of water resources in co- financing of the implementation of the 2nd National Urban Water Sector Reform Project, sponsoring of PPP Training to the tune of 50,000 euro.
He added that AFD has also approved a grant of about Euro 450,000 that is being utilized for feasibility study in the country.