JONATHAN RAISES ALARM OVER LAKE CHAD
President Goodluck Jonathan has raised alarm that the Lake Chad which provides water for about 20 million people and livestock in the countries may go into extinction in the next few years if something urgent was not done to resuscitate it.
He raised the alarm at the ongoing African Session of the 8th World Forum on Sustainable Development in N'djamena, the capital of Chad, observing that the resolution of the Summit being attended by six African Heads of State and Government would be critical in the efforts to save the lake.
Jonathan whose tenure as the chairman of the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) ends today said African countries were the worse hit by the challenges of environmental changes 'and would continue to suffer more because of the level of technological development and the level of infrastructural development and economic planning of these nations. So, we are quite mindful of that and always want the rest of the society to assist.'
While recalling the recent flood disasters in parts of Nigeria, the President stressed the need for far-reaching decisions to look at related issues of environmental changes globally especially as it affects Africa.
According to him, 'the importance of Lake Chad is quite obvious that we don't need to waste time. Lake Chad is located in a part of Africa that is relatively dry with very few rain months and for that reason, water body to encourage agricultural activities and other income generating programmes of the people is quite critical.
'In the 60s, Lake Chad was about 25, 000 square kilometres but now the water level has gone to a level presently where we are talking about 2, 000 square kilometres and that is very dangerous.
'If nothing is done in another 15 years, it will go into extinction. That is why I am quite happy and I have to thank all of you that have made various contributions because if this happens, the effect will not be limited to the countries that are bordering Lake Chad alone,' he warned. Jonathan who expressed delight at the interest being shown by the world, commended the scientists who have been working on ways to revive the lake and also stressed the commitment of the six nations bordering the lake to implement the resolution by the summit.