The Chairman, Council of Ministers, Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) who doubled as Nigeria’s Minister of Water Resources and Engr. Suleiman Adamu has stated that the time to reinvigorate and strengthen regional cooperation among countries in the Lake Chad Basin for sustained peace, stability, and prosperity is now.
Engr. Adamu made this known at the First Annual International Forum on the development of the Lake Chad region with the theme “Lake Chad Basin: Climate Change, Security, Resilience and Development Recovery” held in Abuja.
He stressed that multiple threats facing the Lake Chad region’s common heritage such as climate change impacts, volatile insecurity, endemic poverty, health pandemics, are not country-specific but are transboundary in nature.
The Chairman, LCBC, stated that the theme of the Meeting was apt as it focused on the crucial issues facing the Lake Chad Basin Region and should serve as an opportunity for eminent scientists and researchers to reflect on the existing proposals for the revitalisation of the Lake Chad, which has been shrinking progressively for the past fifty years.
He explained that the event was a unique opportunity to facilitate science-policy dialogue as it brings together experts from the academics and research institutions in the Lake Chad Basin, to discuss and dialogue with practitioners from planners and civil society, who play key roles in addressing the complex challenges in the region.
According to him the Annual International Forum for the Development of the Lake Chad Region will lay the foundation for the continuous dialogue toward the revitalization of the Lake Chad and the development of the Basin
The Minister recalled that in a bid to address the challenges of Lake Chad, the Lake Chad Basin Commission prepared and adopted the Regional Strategy for Stabilization, Recovery and Resilience of the Lake Chad Basin.
He stated that this Strategy which was adopted by all four Lake Chad Region member states in August 2018 has made it possible for LCBC to mobilize resources to support its member states to realise their short- and medium-term stabilization and development priorities, as well as ensure cooperation and synergy between projects and programmes of multiple stakeholders working in the region.
Speaking further, Engr. Adamu noted that regional cooperation and integration are about finding regional solutions to regional problems, synergizing and not duplicating actions, as well as making progress on access to education, livelihoods and services for vulnerable groups such as youth and women, peace and security and most importantly, member countries & their common future.