NIGERIA: NIGERIA SET TO HOST LAKE CHAD CONFERENCE

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Nigeria is set to host an international conference on saving Lake Chad to be held between February 26-28, 2018.

The conference which will be the first international meeting on Lake Chad is being organized by the six member countries of the region with one main objective in mind, creating global awareness on the socio-economic and environmental challenges arising from the shrinkage of the Lake Chad, threat to livelihoods including insecurity with a view to developing a comprehensive program for action to save the lake from extinction.

President Muhammadu Buhari approved the three-day conference which will focus on ways to revitalize the basin’s ecosystem for sustainable livelihood, security and development.

Those expected to attend include all of the Presidents and Heads of government of the member-states: Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Cameroon, Central African Republic and Libya, experts, researchers and resource persons who will exchange knowledge and share information on water resources development and management in a crisis environment and to garner political and financial support for the restoration option identified for the restoration of the lake.

The key partners coming together in hosting the conference are Nigeria, the United Nations Educational,Scientific and Cultural Organisation, UNESCO, the Lake Chad Basin Commission, LCBC and relevant donors including, prospectively, the African Development Bank, AfDB, the World Bank and the governments of Germany, China, Canada and the European Union, EU.

The conference will also discuss and develop consensus on the different options to restore Lake Chad, including the Inter-Basin Water Transfer project from the Ubangi River in Central Africa to the Lake Chad.

The lake is slowly disappearing due to a variety of factors such as overuse of water resources, climate change, poor enforcement of environmental legislation, and weak capacity for water resources management.