Lake Chad shrinks to six percent of original size

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal, has tasked lawmakers in the five African countries in charge of the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) to work closely with LCBC commission and executive Secretariat to ensure synergy and coordinated approach to achieve its goals of intra-basin water transfer and charter.

Very worrisome, according to Tambuwal, is that Lake Chad has shrunk from 25,000 square kilometers (sqkms) in 1964 to 1,500sqkms. This means the lake has shrunk by 94 per cent in 50 years.

Tambuwal spoke in Abuja on Monday during the first meeting of speakers and presidents of National Assemblies of LCBC member states.

The Regional Parliamentary Committee (RPC) of LCBC comprises legislators from Chad, Cameroun, Nigeria, Central Africa Republic (CAR) and Libya.

The committee has its secretariat in Abuja, provided by the House of Representatives of Nigeria.

The Minister of Water Resources, Mrs Sarah Ochekpe, said Nigeria granted about $5 million out of the $6 million required to carry out the feasibilty study of inter-basin water transfer from Ubangui River to Lake Chad to recharge the receding lake.

Ochekpe hoped the re-inauguration of the RPC and participation of the speakers and presidents of the National parliaments of LCBC would help to address the current challenges of the Lake Chad.