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France to the rescue in Chad Basin crisis

05 April 2016, 07:36Emeka Okonkwo

Abuja - France has reiterated its commitment to keeping the Lake Chad alive and guarantee the survival of over 40 000 people living within the Chad Basin.

French Ambassador to Nigeria, Denys Gauer, stated that France, through French Development Agency (AFD), had been collaborating with Nigeria through the Ministry of Water Resources in co-financing of the implementation of the second National Urban Water Sector Reform Project, sponsoring of public–private partnership training to the tune of €50 000 (N11,3 million).

He added that AFD had also approved a grant of about €450 000 that is being utilized for feasibility study in some parts of the country.

“On the issue of the Lake Chad, all hands must be on deck in reviving the lake and with France interest in irrigation, the lake will once again become  a source of freshwater for irrigation projects,” said Gauer.

Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, had called on France to join in the efforts of keeping the Lake Chad alive in order to guarantee the survival of thousands of people living within the Chad Basin.

Also read: Chadian UN peacekeeper kills own commander, doctor in Mali

Gauer led AFD on a courtesy visit to the Minister in his office in Abuja.

The basin spans parts of seven countries mostly previously colonized by Frances.

The countries, including those not colonized include Algeria, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Niger, Nigeria and Sudan.

The Minister stated that Lake Chad, once one of Africa’s largest bodies of fresh water, has dramatically decreased in size due to climate change and human demand for water and if nothing is done to reverse this trend; the civilization within this axis would not be able to survive.

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. It has been a source of freshwater for irrigation projects in each of these countries. 

- CAJ News

Tags france chad

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