New York – The Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, has urged the international community to fully support Nigeria’s quest to save Lake Chad from extinction and revive its potential.
Adamu, who made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in New York, said it was vital to lend his voice to President Muhammadu Buhari’s call to refresh Lake Chad.
Adamu visited New York to attend the recently-concluded 2023 UN Water Conference.
“If you remember from the outset of this regime, President Buhari has made this call several times, particularly at all the meetings during the Conference of Parties (COP) on Climate Change and his dealings with world authorities.
“It is a constant call because you know the issue we have in the Northeast which is Boko Haram. It has been related to the dearth of chances and extreme poverty around Lake Chad that was caused by the contraction of the Lake. It sank as low as 10 percent of its repository ability 50 years ago,” he said.
The minister said the contraction of the Lake had brought about a negative influence on the basis of income of the people living in the area, adding that more than 40 million people were impacted.
Adamu said that all the chances for fishing, farming, irrigation, and grazing were lost, and the lack of options had caused poverty in that area, giving space for a reproduction base for Boko Haram fighters.
“From the security standpoint, it’s very vital to make this call, and from a financial growth view, lack of employment and poverty. Also, there is a climate change issue and desertification,’’ he said.
The minister also said that Nigeria had just approved the Instrument of Accession to the UN Water Convention and had presented it at the conference.
Adamu said Nigeria, under the leadership of President Buhari, had granted to the Water Convention as an agent to support the current transboundary obligations under the Niger Basin Authority and the Lake Chad Basin Commission. Nigeria shares at least one transboundary water body with each of its surrounding states.
The Lake Chad Basin is the largest interior drainage area in Africa and covers an area of 2,434,000 km2, equal to eight percent of the entire area of the African continent.
The basin covers Algeria, Cameroon, Niger, Nigeria, Central Africa Republic, Chad, and Sudan. In Nigeria, the basin saps about 20 percent of the country.