FG taking steps to fight Lake Chad extinction – Minister

The federal government has revealed that it has taken steps  to save Lake Chad from extinction.

Minister of Water Resources and Sanitation Engr Professor Joseph Terlumun Utsev stated this Friday at the Water Summit and Exhibition held at Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre, Abuja.

According to the Minister, some of the steps taken include, the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding MoU between the Lake Chad Basin Commission and a Chinese company on the proposed Inter Basin Water Transfer Project from the Congo Basin into Lake Chad with a commitment of one point five million euros from the Italian government towards finalising the feasibility study on the proposed Inter Basin Water Transfer Project.

The Minister explained that as part of measures to improve water inflow to the Lake Chad Basin, the Federal Government has initiated and implemented the Hawal inter-basin water transfer with the aim of augmenting raw water supply to Alau Dam in Maiduguri to provide more sustainable sources of water supply to Maiduguri and it’s environs while the phase two of the project would provide water to resuscitate the sixty thousand Hectares South Chad Irrigation Scheme, which had become moribund following continuous drying up of Lake over the years, by diverting some of the water from Hawal to South Chad through canals and tunnels.

Prof Utsev said the ministry under his watch is currently undertaking some key projects and programmes to increase access to safe and sufficient water to meet the water needs of citizens which includes Partnership for Expanded Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene PEWASH, Sustainable Urban -Rural  Water Sanitation and Hygiene SURWASH aimed at improving water supply in both rural and urban areas as well as sanitation in public places.

Utsev, who expressed appreciation to the World Bank for its support to address the country’s water challenges described the summit as timely as it has afforded critical stakeholders in the water sector the opportunity to exchange insight on key issues bedeviling the country on climate-related challenges to water resources and sustainable technology solutions.

Speaking at the event, Representative of the World Bank, Mr Vinay Vutukuru, announced a $700,000 intervention from the bank to  expand  access to water supply and sanitation in Nigeria.

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