Developed countries should make strong financial commitments to the 14 billion dollars urgently needed to revive the Lake Chad and save communities dependent on the river from extinction.
Addressing a high level meeting on Climate Change Challenges and Solutions in Africa, during the UN Climate Change Conference, COP 21 in Paris, President Buhari said no fewer than five million people living in the Lake Chad Basin countries have been displaced by the depletion of the lake due to climate change.
The President said the shrinkage of Lake Chad, a former island sea, had resulted in increased social conflicts, high rates of migration and cross border movements.
President Buhari recalled that a research conducted by a London university and published more than three decades ago had predicted that unless one or some of the rivers from the Central African region are diverted to empty into the Lake Chad basin, the river will dry up.
He noted that sadly that prediction has become reality as the lake which covers over 25,000 square kilometers in 1925 have shrunk to 2,500 square kilometers.
On Nigeria’s plans to tackle climate change, President Buhari told the meeting attended by the French President, UN Secretary-General and several African leaders that the country was blessed with natural gas to boost the country’s energy needs.
He said although the technology to optimally utilize natural gas in the country was expensive for the country to maintain, Nigeria welcomes international partnerships and initiatives for lower carbon in the oil and gas sector that focuses on reducing natural gas flaring and capturing the product for commercial use.