Nigeria Wants French Government’s Assistance To Protect Lake Chad | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Nigeria Wants French Government’s Assistance To Protect Lake Chad

Posted: Apr 6, 2016 at 3:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)



The Federal Government has called on France to support efforts toward keeping the Lake Chad alive in order to guarantee the survival of over 40,000 people living within the Chad Basin.

The Minister of Water Resources, Mr Suleiman Adamu, made the call in Abuja when the French ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Denys Guaer, led the French Development Agency (AFD) on a courtesy visit to the minister.

The minister stated that Lake Chad, which is one of Africa’s largest bodies of fresh water, has dramatically decreased in size due to climate change and human activities.

He said if nothing was done quickly to reverse this trend, the civilization within this axis was on its way to extinction.

“Lake Chad is now a ghost of its former self.

“Since 1963, the lake has shrunk to nearly a twentieth of its original size, due both to climatic straddling the borders of Chad, Niger and Cameroon in West Africa.

“Lake Chad has been a source of freshwater for irrigation projects in each of these countries,” he said.

The minister also noted that most of the countries surrounding the lake are former French colonies.

“Therefore, it is important for AFD as a public development-finance institute working to fight poverty and support economic growth in developing counties and French overseas communities to assist the Lake Chad Basin,” he said.

The French ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Denys Gauer, said all hands must be on deck in reviving the Lake Chad River Basin, saying with France’s interest in irrigation, the lake would be revived.

He said when this was done the lake would once again become a source of freshwater for irrigation projects through partnership.

Gauer also said that France through AFD has been collaborating with Nigeria through the Ministry of Water Resources in co-financing the implementation of the 2nd National Urban Water Sector Reform Project.

He added that the country was also sponsoring the public private partnership training to the tune of 50,000 euro.

He disclosed that AFD has also approved a grant of about Euro 450,000 that is being utilised for feasibility study in some parts of the country.