re posted from Africa and the World
Nigerian President Buhari Wants Europe, and US to Help Recharge Lake Chad
October 28, 2018
President Buhari is right and should be commended for requesting that Europe and the United States help in recharging the shrinking Lake Chad, which is at 2,000 square kilometers-less than 10% of its area in 1963. At the Abuja conference to Save Lake Chad in February, organized by President Buhari, the Transaqua inter-basin water transfer project was adopted as the solution to saving Lake Chad. Transaqua is a transformative water infrastructure project that would connect the nations of the Great Lakes and the Lake Chad Basin through a 2,400 kilometer canal. Thus creating a new platform for expanded trade and commerce between these economies. Unlike the US and Europe politicians, who feign concern about the migrant crisis, President Buhari and other African leaders understand that the best way to prevent Africans from risking their lives crossing the Mediterranean is; to create economic growth in the Sahel/Sahara. After decades of inaction, the Italian government has given the Lake Chad Basin Commission 1.5 million Euros to begin a feasibility study by Bonifica, the Italian engineering company that created the Transaqua design over 35 years ago. I have advocated the Transaqua project for over 20 years, and was able to discuss it with then President-elect Buhari a few days after his election in March 2015. It is most unfortunate that with the single exception of the current Italian government, Western leaders have failed to invest in major infrastructure projects like Transaqua that will generate economic growth in African nations. Let us hope that Western institutions act appropriately to President Buhari ‘s request to help recharge Lake Chad; a vital body of water in Africa’s desert.
It would be the greatest western investment in Africa
By Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday in Abuja said the greatest investment Europe and the United States could make in Africa now was to help in accomplishing inter-basin water transfer to recharge the Lake Chad.
Receiving the Chairman of the African Union Commission, Mr. Moussa Faki Mahamat, in the State House, Buhari recalled how the Lake Chad had served as the source of livelihood for millions of West African citizens in the past.
Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, said the president listed countries which benefitted immensely from the lake in its productive years as Chad, Cameroon, Niger and Nigeria.
The president, according to the statement, also noted that Lake Chad had now shrunk to 10 per cent of its initial size as a result of the huge impact of climate change.
He was quoted as saying, “People who depended on the Lake for fishing, farming, animal husbandry, and many others, have been thrown into dire straits.
“That is one of the reasons youths now dare the Sahara Desert and the Mediterranean Sea, to seek greener pastures in Europe. But helping to recharge Lake Chad will help a great deal in curbing irregular migration.”
The statement added that Buhari observed that the size of Nigeria and resources available there-in placed a lot of responsibilities on the country’s shoulders and pledged that the country would continue to fulfill its obligations to the African Union (AU).
Adesina further quoted the president as saying, “At all international fora, we emphasise the matter of Lake Chad. We also talk about the influx of small arms from the Sahel, which worsens the security situation between herders and stagnant farmers. We will keep the issues on the front burners.”
Furthermore, the statement added that Mahamat, in his remarks, praised Buhari, saying his leadership has been good for Nigeria, the AU, and Africa in general.
“He added that the next AU summit would look into the reform of the AU Commission, positioning the AU and Africa in the world, Single Air Transport Market, the Africa Continental Free Trade Area, and other issues,” the statement added.
Read: Save Lake Chad With Transaqua: Presidents Roosevelt and Nkrumah Would Concur, by Lawrence Freeman