President Muhammadu Buhari has called for an immediate action plan by African leaders and the international community to arrest the shrinkage of the Lake Chad.
The President quoted the reports of the United Nations (UN) Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, that the negative effects of the shrinkage of Lake Chad to include: Farmers and herdsmen struggle over the little water left; Herdsmen migrate in search of greener pastures resulting in conflicts; Youths joining terrorist groups because of lack of jobs and difficult economic conditions, thereby has resulting in serious instability in the sub-region; more than seven million people in the sub-region facing the threat of famine and half a million children suffering from severe malnutrition due to deterioration of food security; and Fish varieties are long gone leaving the fishermen jobless;
The President made the call on Wednesday in his address at the International Conference on saving the Lake Chad in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
Those at the conference include presidents of Niger and Chad, Mahamadou Isoufou and Idris Deby, among other African leaders, as well as representatives from the United States and other concerned agencies.
Buhari explained that the conference was convened with a view to finding workable solutions in resuscitating the Lake Chad to the benefit of all member countries in the region, and to the ecological balance of a large area of West Africa.
He expressed hope that the conference would not just be another ‘talk shop’ but would serve as a platform to re-launch the partnership and commitment of various nations to the growth of the continent.
President Buhari, who noted that the Lake Chad issues must be treated with the required urgency, called on all stakeholders to share the mission of rescuing the Lake Chad Basin.