The Executive Secretary, Lake Chad Basin Commission, Amb. Mamman Nuhu, on Monday, commended the Federal Government of Nigeria for providing 100 million dollars take-off grant to sustain the basin.
Nuhu gave the commendation at the opening of a Regional Validation Workshop of the Strategic Action Programme (SAP) for the Lake Chad Basin in Abuja.
He said that poverty, continued population growth and climate change were factors affecting livelihoods in the lake area, with shrinkage leading to unending struggle for scarce resources.
The commission’s executive secretary said that SAP would address the essential problems affecting the region, as member countries had agreed on its content for further implementation.
On the issue of insecurity, Nuhu said that the challenges were almost over, and gave credit to the partnership between the Multi National Joint Task Force (MNJTF), National operations and member countries.
“The MNJTF and the national operations; you know in addition to the MNJTF, it has a restricted area of operations.
“Beyond that area, the troops contributing countries also participate, so it’s a joint effort between the MNJTF and what we call the national operations.
“Yes, credit goes to them and also goes to our partners who have contributed in giving us the wherewithal to continue the battle.
“And of course, I would not finish without commending Nigeria that provided the take-off grant for the MNJTF.
“Apart from the 100 million dollars initially provided for every operation, there is a certain amount of money that is released for distribution for participating countries as well, which made it possible for us to sustain the battle against Boko Haram’’.
He said the commission had taken over former insurgents’ territories in partnership with Borno government and the UN Development Programme.
The executive secretary said that continued rainfall had seen water increase in the Lake Chad region, saying livelihood was being promoted, and many inhabitants returning to farming and fishing.
Ms. Binta Sanneh, Deputy Resident Representative, UNDP-Chad, said that the actions of climate change and human interactions affected the shrinkage of the Lake Chad.
She said the validation was an opportunity to ensure that long-term solutions were put in place to ensure effective management of resources and solve problems of the Lake Chad Basin.
“We are hoping that out of this, recommended actions we’ll come out to make sure that we correct all wrongs and reposition the Lake Chad Basin in terms of management of natural resources Sanneh said.’’
By Tosin Kolade