Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

2/11/2013 (3 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Experts it's not possible to blame the lake's crisis on one single factor

Bordered by Chad, Cameroon, Niger and Nigeria, Lake Chad has in the last 50 years shrunk by 90 percent. Approaching from Gulfe, a small locality 27 miles from Cameroon's Far North Regional capital Maroua, the atmosphere of neglect is everywhere apparent. There is dusty air, fierce and unrelenting winds, wilting plants and sand dunes. This once verdant area is quickly growing sterile and sere, devastating the area surrounding it.

'Desertification, climate change as well as the continuous diversion of water from the rivers that feed the lake is responsible,' environmentalist Paul Ghogomou of the University of Yaounde in Cameroon says.

"Desertification, climate change as well as the continuous diversion of water from the rivers that feed the lake is responsible," environmentalist Paul Ghogomou of the University of Yaounde in Cameroon says.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

2/11/2013 (3 years ago)

Published in Africa

Keywords: Lake Chad, m Chad, dwindling resources, tributaries, ocean, desertification


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Due to sparse rainfall, the two main rivers that feed the lake, the Chari and the Logone are bringing in less and less water each year.

Those who have relied for generations on the rich soil of this basin are now scrambling as the great lake vanishes before their very eyes.

On the banks of the lake, Mahamat Aboubakar is disentangling a tiny black catfish from a large net.

"Before, you needed to cast the net just a few times to get thousands of fish," fisherman Mahamat Aboubakar says. "But today, it may require a whole day's work to get this," he says, pointing to his paltry catch, worth only about two dollars, likely to be his only income for the day.

The 64-year old fisherman could earn as much as 50 dollars during the lake's heyday. He can only expect his catch to get smaller and his income dwindling along with it, as the lake's waters continue to recede.

"This is a disaster," Sanusi Imran Abdullahi, executive director of the Lake Chad Basin Commission says. "It is already taking its toll on residents around the lake," he adds. In order to prevent a potentially catastrophic situation, "we are working to save Lake Chad and the 30 million people whose livelihoods depend on the natural resources" of this water body.

However - experts point out that it is impossible to blame the crisis on one single factor.

"Desertification, climate change as well as the continuous diversion of water from the rivers that feed the lake is responsible," environmentalist Paul Ghogomou of the University of Yaounde in Cameroon says.

Ghogomou explains that water from Cameroon's Chari River - which, fed by its tributary, the Logone, provides over 90 percent of Lake Chad's water is being diverted to irrigation projects in the surrounding area.

In the meantime, dams built along the Jama'are and Hadejia Rivers in northeastern Nigeria are "partly responsible for the shrinkage," he says.

The growing population around the area is stretching the lake to breaking point. "Forty years ago, the population within the Lake Chad area was about 17 million. Now, we number about 30 million. So rising demand by the population, the rising numbers of livestock as well as massive evaporation as a result of climate change have all combined to shrink the lake," he notes.

The local farmers and fishermen are showing resilience, adapting as best they can to a looming crisis. If the lake does not return, however, even the remaining humidity left by its receding waters will evaporate, and farmers will be left with few options for a livelihood.

Can this disaster be averted? In an effort to implement more sustainable solutions, member countries of the LCBC - Chad, Cameroon, Niger, Nigeria and the Central African Republic have developed an ambitious plan to replenish the lake with water from the Obangui, a tributary of the Congo River.

The project will involve the "construction of a retention dam at Palambo (upstream of the CAR's capital Bangui) to serve as a catchment area. The high flow through pumping will then enter River Fafa - a tributary of Ouham - and by gravity through a 1,350-kilometre-long feeder channel in to the River Chari in Cameroon and then to Lake Chad.

"There is so much water in the Congo that goes into the ocean. We are just going to take a fraction of it to save the lives of 30 million people who depend on the lake for their survival," he says.

A version of this story was first published by Inter Press Service news agency.

.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copyright 2016 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for May 2016
Universal:
Respect for Women: That in every country of the world, women may be honored and respected and that their essential contribution to society may be highly esteemed.
Evangelization: Holy Rosary: That families, communities, and groups may pray the Holy Rosary for evangelization and peace.



Comments


More Africa

Nun fatally attacked in South Sudan Watch

Image of Sister Veronika Terézia Racková was shot by three soldiers and died from her injuries (irishexaminer).

By (CNA/EWTN News)

A Slovak nun and medical doctor died Friday from gunshot wounds she suffered in an attack in Yei, South Sudan last week. Juba, South Sudan (CNA/EWTN News) - Sister Veronika Terézia Racková was shot and wounded by three soldiers on May 16, and died from her injuries ... continue reading


'Everything published about this matter is completely false': Confusion erupts over EgyptAir Flight 804 crash Watch

Image of Egyptian officials are unable to keep their story straight (Eco Clement/UPI).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Conflicting stories have emerged concerning recently downed EgyptAir Flight 804. While Greek officials claim the plane swerved before falling off radar, one Egyptian official claims human remains indicate an explosion, while yet another claim by Egyptian officials ... continue reading


Terrorism?: EgyptAir flight 804 lost at sea Watch

Image of An EgyptAir flight was likely downed due to an act of terrorism (Popoff/Lemerg).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Sixty-six people remain missing after EgyptAir flight 804 disappeared from radar above the Mediterranean Sea Wednesday night. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The airline reported the flight was on its way from Paris to Cairo when ground control lost contact with ... continue reading


First missing Chibok girl returned to family after 2 years with Boko Haram Watch

Image of After two years as a Boko Haram prisoner, one young girl (not pictured) was rescued and reunited with her family (Reuters).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Over 200 Chibok schoolgirls were kidnapped by Nigeria's terrorist organization Boko Haram over two years ago. At least 57 have escaped Boko Haram and one of those brave, victimized girls was recently rescued by the Nigerian army. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - At ... continue reading


#BringBackOurGirls: 219 of the Boko Haram kidnapped schoolgirls remain missing two years later Watch

Image of Boko Haram continues to persecute Christians and abduct girls as young as 8-years-old.

By Loredana Vuoto (CNA/EWTN News)

Two years ago, radical Islamists with the militant group Boko Haram stormed a school in Chibok, Nigeria, kidnapping 276 teen girls. The event initially sparked global outrage, with high-profile personalities taking pictures on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag, ... continue reading


Extremely young girls dreadfully raised and trained to become suicide bombers Watch

Image of Children as young as 8-years-old have been detonating bombs in schools and markets (Inquisitr).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Boko Haram has reportedly initiated a child training camp to prepare kids as young as eight-years-old to kill as many innocents as possible - including themselves. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Humanitarian group UNICEF recently reported an increase in children ... continue reading


WATCH NOW: Boko Haram releases heartbreaking 'Proof of life' video featuring kidnapped Chibok girls Watch

Image of One of the Chibok girls spoke to the camera. It is the first time her family has seen her in two years.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

When Boko Haram abducted over 200 school girls at gunpoint from a government school in Chibok, Nigeria, they made headlines across the globe. Since their abduction, there has been next to no word of their fate - until now. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Boko Haram ... continue reading


Young girls BEGGING to be suicide bombers to escape rape and starvation Watch

Image of Young girls are accepting suicide missions to escape sexual slavery and starvation (Irene Becker).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Women and girls are kidnapped by Boko Haram militants every day - then are forced to marry the terrorists. They are then raped by numerous men each day. After a time of slowly dying from starvation, the weary girls plead to be suicide bombers to escape the agonizingly ... continue reading


'We can't trust any of them': Surviving Boko Haram sex slaves tell their terrifying stories (WARNING: DISTURBING CONTENT) Watch

Image of Surviving women who were forced to become Boko Haram

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Two women, 15-year-old Halima and 25-year-old Hamsatu, speak of their captivity and forced marriages to Boko Haram men. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The women and girls used as sex slaves were as young as only 8-years-old and were forced to live in small ... continue reading


Biblical plague returns: Satellite images reveal blood-red Nile Watch

Image of Satellite images of the Nile bring to mind the Biblical plague (Pinterest).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A new image from European Space Agency's (ESA) Sentinel-3A satellite reveals a blood-red River Nile, reminiscent of the Biblical plague of Moses' time. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to Exodus 7:20, "Moses and Aaron did as the Lord ordered. He raised his ... continue reading


All Africa News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • Daily Reading for Thursday, May 26th, 2016 HD Video
  • Daily Readings for Wednesday, May 25, 2016
  • Benedict XVI to make public appearance?
  • Goodbye El Nino! Hello La Nina! What does this mean for the Atlantic ...
  • Prayer to Holy Michael the Archangel HD Video
  • St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi: Saint of the Day for Wednesday, May 25, 2016
  • Nun fatally attacked in South Sudan

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Peter 1:10-16
10 This salvation was the subject of the search and investigation of the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 98:1, 2-3, 3-4
1 [Psalm] Sing a new song to Yahweh, for he has performed wonders, his ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 10:28-31
28 Peter took this up. 'Look,' he said to him, 'we have left everything ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 24th, 2016 Image

St. David I of Scotland
May 24: David, the youngest son of Scotland's virtuous ... Read More