Buhari Dusts Up 1920 Report To Save Shrinking Lake Chad | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Buhari Dusts Up 1920 Report To Save Shrinking Lake Chad

Posted: Aug 4, 2015 at 4:53 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Chesa Chesa, Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday, August 4, 2015, directed the Federal Ministry of Environment to consider for implementation a 1920 Report that proffered solutions to the  shrinking of the Lake Chad.

Professionals have calculated the Lake to have shrunk from about 33,000 square kilometres to just about 300 square kilometres over 20 years.

The President gave the directive at the State House, Abuja, after he was briefed on the activities of the Federal Ministry of Environment by its top officials led by the Permanent Secretary, Fatima Mede.

Giving journalists highlights of the meeting with the President, the Permanent Secretary said Buhari was quite concerned about the adverse effect of the shrinking Lake on many farmers, fishermen and the surrounding communities who rely on it for their livelihood.

“The President is also concerned about the fact that Lake Chad is receding from the 33,000 square kilometres about two decades ago to just 300 square kilometres which has affected the farmers, fishermen and the livelihood of the people around that area.

“So he has directed that we should go and look at the report that was submitted 1920 about how to prevent Lake Chad from drying up so that the communities around, even border communities including the countries benefitting from activities of fishermen and livelihood based on Lake Chad are not affected.”

Mede said the President also expressed concern over the general environment degradation in the country, which she said was affecting over 43 per cent of the population.

As part of efforts to check this trend, she said Buhari directed that more measures be put in place to encourage the use of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) for cooking especially in the urban areas of the country.

“Currently, over 43% of Nigerians are affected by the effect of decertification and you see the conflict that comes up between the herdsmen and farmers because of forced migration, moving away from the dessert to the South West where they can get grass to feed the animals.

“So, the President has directed that to reduce the rate at which wood is being cut down for fuel for cooking, we should look at promoting the use of LPG especially in the cities, that in the villages, it will be difficult,” she said.

On the Clean Cook Stove initiative launched by the last administration to provide cooking stoves for thousands rural women across the country, Mede explained that not much could be done on the project because the contractor handling it had dragged the Federal Government to court over its possible cancellation.

She pointed out that “the matter is in court right now. So, there is a limit to how I can talk about the issue of cooking stove.

“The contractor took government to court asking the court to grant an injunction for government not to terminate the contract.

“We will go there and argue our case. The government will go. We have briefed the Attorney-General’s office. We will present our case,” she said.