Dying Lake Chad: Adaptive strategies to climate change and water scarcity of the Lake Chad basin

Dying Lake Chad: Adaptive strategies to climate change and water scarcity of the Lake Chad basin

Year of publication: 
2016
Pages: 
11
Editor(s): 
International Commission of Irrigation and Drainage (ICID)
Name of publisher / organisation and location: 
International Commission of Irrigation and Drainage (ICID)
Abstract: 

The current situation of over 90% shrinking of Lake Chad has been described by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) as an “ecological catastrophe”. As noted by a former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo in 2015, Lake Chad may no longer exist in 30 years’ time. Hence, we must ensure that the 47 million people who depend on this lake for survival are prepared for the worst possible scenario. There is an indication that the Nubian Sandstone Aquifer (NSA) which extends to Chad could be the sustenance of the lake. Rather than propose further huge expenditure in efforts to recharge the dying lake by inter-basin water transfer, it is realistic to face the fact that regardless of whether the lake level rises, is maintained or completely dries out, the basin is foreseen to experiencing increasing desertification, which in turn will result in increased food insecurity in the region. From robust water harvesting, adoption of water-saving agricultural practices, fishing and fishery activities regulation, water policy formulation and implementation to aggressive awareness of climate change, there is the need to prepare the dependent populace for the unpleasant economic, agricultural and political implications. Analyzing the current condition of the lake in comparison with other existing and preexisting surface and groundwater aquifers, combined with available research findings, this paper outlines adaptive strategies for the populace around the Lake Chad-with and without water.

Author(s): 
Amali, A.A.
Bala, M.S.
Adeyemi Adeniji, F.
Country/countries and or aquifer(s) covered in publication: 
Nigeria
Niger
Algeria
Cameroon
Central African Republic
Chad
Sudan
Libya
Aquifer: 
Lake Chad Aquifer System
Nubian Sandstone Aquifer System (NSAS)