The federal government in collaboration with the Lake Chad Basin Commission has begun a move aimed at preventing Lake Chad from drying up.
As part of the moves, the commission has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the POWERCHINA International Group Limited to actualize the transfer of water from the Congo Basin to Lake Chad Basin.
At the ceremony in Abuja, the Minister of Water Resources, who is also the Chairman of Ministers of the Commission, Engr. Suleiman H. Adamu, stated that what the POWERCHINA Corporation has done is to expand the feasibility study earlier done by CIMA International in 2011.
Adamu said that with the expanded study done by POWERCHINA, it shows that it is technically feasible to transfer water from river Congo to Lake Chad thereby increasing the level of the lake.
This, according to him, would halt the receding of the lake and the drying of the north basin due to climate change.
The study has shown that the process can potentially transfer 50 billion m3 annually to the Chad Basin through a series of dams in Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic.
The minister noted that the project is a generational project as it would take a long time to actualize due to the huge capital involved and the complexity of the nature the project.
Also, the minister, on behalf of the government of Nigeria, signed another MoU with the same company to harness the Water Resources Master Plan in the area of hydropower and irrigation development.
In his remarks, the Vice-President of POWERCHINA, Mr. Tian Hailua, said that the company is committing both technical and financial assistance towards the actualization of the water transfer to the lake. He added that the company has agreed to fund the project to the tune of us $1.8million in order to make life more meaningful socially and economically to the people within the basin.