Drying Up Of Lake Chad, A Major Climate Change Disaster On Africa – UN
The drying up of the Lake Chad is one of the major climate change disasters on the continent of Africa, the President of the 73rd United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), María Espinosa-Garcés, has said.
Espinosa-Garcés, therefore, called for global attention, saying that the issue needed to be addressed holistically.
She spoke at a joint news conference with the Foreign Affairs Minister Geoffrey Onyeama, on Tuesday in Abuja. She was earlier at the State House where she had a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari
She said that the shrinking of Lake Chad was a major concern and important to the UN as it connected with the livelihood of 30 million people.
The UN President expressed concern over the implication of the shrinking lake on the lives of the people in the area in terms of lives and food security; and development among others.
“It is a huge thing. And as a geographer, I can tell you.
“When I look at the maps of Lake Chad and that in less than 40 years, this lake went from 24,000 something to 2,000 square kilometers, this is one of the major climate change disasters in this continent.
“It is like you can touch what climate change does to people, how much it destroys livelihoods, how much it can have security implications, food security implications, development implications.
“So, that is a very touching example of how we need to tackle development and security together.
“As President Muhammadu Buhari has stated there is no peace and security without development and there is no development without peace,” she said.
In his remarks, Onyeama said Nigeria believed in multilateralism and that the challenge of today can best be addressed through multilateralism.
“As the president of a global institution, the UN has a unique place to help in finding solution to a lot of challenges we face in Africa.
“We will like to congratulate you in promoting a global compact on migration and refugee. It is a topic that we live everyday here in this country,” Onyeama said.
Onyeama in his remarks called for the UN intervention in the recharge of the shrinking Lake Chad
“It is a privilege that you are just coming from Chad and you have seen the climate-induced shrinkage of Lake Chad.
“For us it is an existential issue because it is a lake that almost 30 million people depend on for their livelihood, and, we have seen it shrink by 90 per cent over the years,” he said
He further added that the situation has created very severe challenges for the people of that subregion and indeed for our country,
“We are looking to have the support of the UN and your support in particular to address this challenge, one of the mechanisms we have identified is to recharge the Lake.
“And it is going to be capital intensive efforts and something in the order of 40 to 50 billion dollars estimated and clearly we are going to leverage on the international community.
“Because this is a huge resources and we look for your support,” he said.