UN Promises To Help Raise $50 Billion for Transaqua Lake Chad Water Transfer
April 25, 2019 (EIRNS)—Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has brought UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres into the effort to raise the $50 billion needed to finance the construction of the Transaqua project to refill Lake Chad, Nigerian media report. That figure was proposed at the International Conference on Lake Chad in February 2018. Here is one such report from the Nigerian daily Leadership. The newspaper’s reference term for the Transaqua project is “inter-basin water transfer”:
“There is a glimmer of hope for the revival of the shrinking Lake Chad after the United Nations yesterday agreed to help in efforts to raise $50 billion for its re-charge.
“President Muhammadu Buhari revealed yesterday that UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, had accepted to co-chair a special fundraising session to raise $50 billion (or £38.65 billion) for a project to help revive the drought-stricken Lake Chad.”
Leadership reports that President Buhari had written to the UN leader to co-chair the fundraising session with him, which the UN chief accepted.
The response of the UN Secretary-General was presented to President Buhari by the president of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, at the State House, Abuja yesterday.
In a statement by his media aide Garba Shehu, Buhari said such a special forum was necessary in view of the size of capital required for the project, which is unavailable to the Lake Chad Basin countries.
“ ‘President Muhammadu Buhari has welcomed the acceptance of the United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres to co-chair a Special Session to raise $50 billion to fund the inter-basin water transfer from Central Africa to revive the Lake Chad,’ Buhari said in the statement.
“Leadership reports that the Lake, which borders Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon, has lost 90% of its size due mainly to climate change, leading to fear of famine and throwing the economic life of the 30 million population around it into jeopardy.
“The shrinking of the Lake is also fingered as part of the reasons why insurgency and terrorist activities thrive in the region, with militant groups including Islamic State in West Africa (ISWA) and Boko Haram having their strongholds there....”
Buhari has also sought for Qatar to join the financial effort in an Abuja meeting with Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-thani. Of the 30 million people in the Lake Chad Basin threatened by the loss of the lake, the President told him, half live in Nigeria.