Okwe Obi, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has said Nigeria, Cameroon, Niger and Chad Republic are threatened by the shrinking of the Lake Chad Basin.
The president also said “the situation in the Lake Chad has left over 40 million people in dire need of food.”
He added that the world would pay heavily if nothing is done to solve the problem confronting Lake Chad.
Buhari, who was represented by his deputy, Prof. Yemi Osibanjo, at the International Conference on Lake Chad, in Abuja, yesterday said nations must be selfless in solving the problem.
Declaring the event open, the president also acknowledged the contribution of UNESCO and the Lake Chad Commission for their services.
“Lake Chad is the sixth largest in the world…The shrinking of Lake Chad, which provides food for over 40 million people in Nigeria, Cameroon, Niger and Chad and the disappearing natural resources in the Lake has become a global calamity and, therefore, require urgent attention or else, the cascading effects would worsen.
“The lake, regarded as one of the largest water bodies in Africa, is fast losing its traction. The lake’s water level and size has shrunk by 90 percent, compared with what it was in the 1960s. Its surface area has decreased from a peak of 25,000 square kilometers to approximately 1,350 square kilometres today.
Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, further stated that saving Lake Chad requires the ccollaboration of all relevant stakeholders.
Deputy Director-General United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Getachew Engida, also pledged the commitment of organisation to contribute meaningfully in salvaging the situation.