Global Policy Forum

Nigeria's Vital Lake Chad Left Out to Dry


The shrinking Lake Chad, on which approximately 30 million people in surrounding areas of Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Niger depend, is proof of the growing problem of water scarcity worldwide. It has depleted to 1/5th of its original area and is expected to disappear by the end of the century if nothing is done to protect it, according to the FAO. Farming and fishing are the main livelihoods in the basin; however, fishing activity is already threatened. Tensions over scarce resources have also led to conflicts between users. To help replenish the lake, a $14 billion project to divert water from the Congo River is currently awaiting funding. The future of Lake Chad cannot be ensured solely through large water diversion projects, requiring instead greater focus on sustainable management of current and future water demands within the basin.

By Mohammed Adow

January 11, 2013

Once counted as the largest water reservoirs in Africa, Nigeria's Lake Chad is rapidly shrinking due to excessive use and climate change. 

The lake supplies water to four different countries, but it could dry up by the end of the century.
Meanwhile, efforts to solve the problem and replenish the lake's water are stuck in the pipeline.


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