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Gombe gov urges collective efforts to revive Lake Chad

Gov Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe State on Monday, April 25, 2022, appealed for collective efforts from all stakeholders to revive the Lake Chad.

Lake Chad
Scientists say the Lake Chad, that borders Nigeria and some other countries, has shrunken by 95 percent over the past 50 years. They have also linked the Boko Haram insurgency to the lake’s situation. Photo credit: AP/Christophe Ena

Yahaya made the appeal in Gombe, the state capital, when he received a courtesy call from officials of the National Institute for Security Studies (NISS) Abuja.

He stated that the Lake Chad replenishment project aimed at diverting water from the Congo River basin to Lake Chad should be revisited to restore the lake back to its normal size.

He said doing that would help address some of the associated security issues in Northern Nigeria arising from the shrinking of the lake.

According to him, the water diversion scheme would help support farmers, pastoralists and enhance the economic lives of the people in those areas.

He stated that global warming and climate change were major issues that needed all the attention, in view of their importance to human existence.

The governor linked some of the security challenges like banditry, farmer/herder clashes to the effects of global warming and climate change.

He stated that the effect of global warming, climate change and other related issues, if not properly addressed, could worsen security in the country.

According to him, reviving Lake Chad through the water transfer project, the proper implementation of the Great Green Wall project to address deforestation and desertification would improve the environment and lead to peaceful coexistence.

“For me, I link the banditry and security challenges to the effects of global warming and climate change.

“For those that know, Lake Chad borders Nigeria, Republic of Chad, Cameroon and others; Lake Chad Basin used to be about 25, 000 sq.kms but as at today, it has shrunk to about 2, 500 or less.

“The tributaries that take water to the Lake from Nigeria, Cameroon and Chad Republic have virtually dried up,” he stated.

Yahaya said the current state of the Lake had contributed to some of the challenges of insecurity and also migration of farmers and pastoralists from the region.

On efforts being made in the state to address climate change, Yahaya said his administration had embarked on massive planting of trees under the Gombe Goes Green (3G) project.

The 3G project, he added, had succeeded in planting nearly 3 million trees within the last three years, though not all the trees had survived.

He stated that the lack of community ownership and vandalism of woodlots planted in villages was affecting the project.

Yahaya further stated that mining activities in the state, poor farming practices, lack of vegetation control, deforestation, desertification, had contributed to depleting the environment.

He called for strengthening of synergies between agencies in the state mandated to protect the environment, to ensure proper implementation of policies and programmes aimed at reviving the environment.

Speaking earlier, the leader of the NISS team from Abuja, Dr Mkah Obi-Bisong, Directing Staff, NISS Directorate Headquarters, said they were in the state as part of the annual tours of participants at the institute.

Obi-Bisong said that the 16 participants who are part of syndicate five of the Executive Intelligence Management Course being offered by NISS in Abuja were in the state to carry out a mandatory course exercise.

“The purpose of the visit to Gombe State is to help them interrogate the course theme for this year, as each year, every course had a theme.

“And for this year, the theme is “The Global Climate Challenge, Prospects and Priorities for Economic Development and Conflict Resolution in Africa.”

She stated that the participants would want to interact to know the environmental issues with their security implications.

In addition, they would want to know the effects of climate change on Gombe State, its nexus with security issues and how the state government was managing the issues.

By Peter Uwumarogie

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