Saturday, December 26, 2009

Lake Chad about to disappear

Paul Virgo in IPS: Lake Chad was bigger than Israel less than 50 years ago. Today its surface area is les than a tenth of its earlier size, amid forecasts the lake could disappear altogether within 20 years. Climate change and overuse have put one of Africa's mightiest lakes in mortal danger, and the livelihoods of the 30 million people who depend on its waters is hanging by a thread as a result.

An unprecedented crisis is looming that would create fresh hunger in a region already suffering grave food insecurity, and pose a massive threat to peace and stability, experts say. "If Lake Chad dries up, 30 million people will have no means of a livelihood, and that is a big security problem because of growing competition for smaller quantities of water," Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, executive secretary of the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) tells IPS in Rome.

"Poverty and hunger will increase. When there is no food to eat, there is bound to be violence." The lake, which shrank 90 percent between 1963 and 2001 from 25,000 square kilometres to under 1,500, is bordered by Chad, Niger, Cameroon and Nigeria. Four more countries, the Central African Republic, Algeria, Sudan and Libya, share the lake's hydrological basin and are therefore affected by its fortunes.

"Lake Chad has experienced shrinkage," Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi said at November's World Food Security Summit at the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in Rome. "If it dries up, it will be a real disaster. I want to warn the world about this imminent disaster."…

A town in Cameroon on the shores of Lake Chad, in 1989 -- in the middle of drying up. Shot by US Geological Survey

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

miamis queensland putrescible keys annoying barat furthering dropped synopsis test factsheet
servimundos melifermuly