Shrinking of Lake Chad is threating livelihoods of people in the region and raises the need for improved strategies to manage the water resource to remedy losses, WaterAid has said.
Dr ChiChi Aniagolu-Okoye, Country Director, WaterAid, made this known in an interview with newsmen in Abuja on Tuesday.
“Lake Chad, the largest fresh water reservoir, is an important resource shared by Nigeria and other benefiting countries within the region.
“The lake sustains a lot of people, who are largely farmers, fishermen and livestock breeders.
“The speedy shrinking of the basin is threatening the resources and livelihoods of millions of people who are living there.
“There is no doubt that the management of the lake requires greater resources and expertise; involvement of water experts is certainly a welcome intervention,’’ she said.
The WaterAid official called for involvement of water experts, particularly geologists, in proffering solutions to the diminishing of the lake.
According to her, the shrinking has caused millions of inhabitants of the basin to move to the hinterlands due to inability to carry out their fishing and other agricultural activities.
“Most of the people living around the lake have been displaced by natural forces.
“These forces include drought and desertification brought about by the effects of climate change; high winds and temperature in the region have resulted in diminishing resources of the Lake Chad Basin,’’ she said.
The official told newsmen that there an alarming humanitarian crisis could be fast developing as a consequence of the threat.
She appealed to the governments of the commission’s countries to expedite actions in reclaiming the lake basin.
Newsmen report that Cameroon, Chad, Niger, Nigeria, Algeria, the Central African Republic, Libya, and Sudan are members of the Lake Chad Basin Commission.