Lake Chad member countries set to implement 2015 investment plan


    Member-Countries of the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) are set to implement a Five-Year Investment Plan of 91 million Euros for the improvement of the Chari and Logone rivers by 2015.

    This is contained in a statement signed by Mrs Boade Akinola, Deputy Director, Press, Federal Ministry of Water Resources in Abuja on Tuesday.

    The fund will also be used for the de-silting, erosion and evasive weeds control measures, in and around the Lake Chad, to enable it accommodate more flow.

    The statement quoted the Executive Secretary of the Lake Chad Basin Commission, Mr Sanusi Abdullahi, as saying that it will also be used in tackling the hydraulicity of the rivers.

    It said that improvement in the hydraulicity of the tributaries of the Lake Chad, notably the Chari River, will halt the losses in the flood plains and increase the quantity of water meant for Lake Chad.

    It said the operation would be carried out by the dredging, the stabilisation of banks, the construction of dykes, and the setting up of a system, which maintains water supply in the wetlands.

    It also said the development of Lake Chad through the de-silting programmes would fight against the shoreline erosion and the invasive plant species.

    Abdullahi said that the Five Year Investment Plan, which is expected to commence in 2015, is an offshoot of the International Donors Round Table Conference in April 2014 in Bologna and Rimini, Italy.

    Abdullahi explained that the Chairman of the Summit had set up the International Monitoring Committee to follow up on all pledges made during the Donor’s Conference.

    The conference, headed by former President of the EU Parliament, Prof. Romano Prodi, will be assisted by former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo.

    The statement also said that the Executive Secretary LCBC, is to serve as secretary, the committee was inaugurated in Niamey in June 2014.

    He urged member countries to show more commitment by making timely payments to offset statutory contributions.

    “The persisting challenge of the non-timely payment of statutory contribution by member countries has continued to make it impossible for the Commission to carry out its planned and approved activities.

    “This situation is making our development partners weary, and at times confused about our seriousness to sustain the Commission”, he said.

    The statement also quoted Dr Tounkara Samba Bocary, as saying that the African Development Bank had committed more than $100 million for the implementation of FYIP.

    It also quotes the representative of Nigeria’s Minister of Water Resources, Sarah Ochekpe, as pledging government’s effort towards reviving the Lake Chad Basin.

    “It is pertinent to note that Nigeria is the only country that has paid off its 2014 contributions and all its outstanding arrears, this alone,
    I am sure, has contributed to the success recorded in the LCBC operations”

    NAN reports that the Lake Chad Basin Commission is an intergovernmental organisation that oversees water and other natural resource usage in the basin.

    There are eight member governments and they are: Cameroon, Chad, Niger, Nigeria, Algeria, the Central African Republic, Libya, and Sudan, chosen for their proximity to Lake Chad.

    The LCBC Council of Ministers holds annually, to present to the Commissioners the draft programme of activities and budget for the incoming year, for consideration and approval.

    Source: NAN