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By NBF News
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About 18million Nigerians whose livelihoods depend on Lake Chad are being threatened due to the shrinking of the lake which has also forced them into competing over water.

Water Resources Minister Sarah Reng Ochekpe stated this yesterday while marking the 'Lake Chad Day' in Abuja.

She also called for concerted efforts to save the lake and restore its dwindling fortunes which have shrunk by 90 per cent, going from 25,000 square kilometres in 1963 to less than 1,500 square kilometres in 2001 due to climate change, population increase and water demands.

'Lake Chad is believed to be host to over 30 million inhabitants out of which over 50 percent are Nigerians whose livelihoods is now threatened due to the drying up of the lake', she explained.

She said causes of the sever shrinkage include climate change, the decrease in rainfall pattern in the region and water demands for agricultural activities and other human needs. House Committee Chairman on Lake Chad, Abubakar Wambai, noted that the lake retains only 5 percent of its original size hence the need for concerted efforts to revitalise the lake.