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AfDB Disburses 25 Billion Francs for Lake Chad Basin Projects

The African Development Bank will disburse 25 billion CFA francs ($52 million) to promote agriculture and livestock programs in the Lake Chad Basin.

The money will be given to the Lake Chad Sustainable Development Support Program, which seeks to promote agribusiness among Chad, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Nigeria and Niger, Michel Cyr Djema, the resident representative of the Lake Chad Basin Commission, told reporters.

The lake forms a common boundary between the five countries that have instituted measures to save the lake from drying up, Djema said in the Cameroonian capital, Yaounde, after visiting the Cameroon component of the program.

The Lake Chad Basin covers almost 1 million square kilometers (366,102 square miles). The lake has shrunk to about 2,500 square kilometers from about 25,000 square kilometers in the 1960s.

Part of the depletion is caused by climate change which, for several decades, has led to widespread degradation of area’s ecosystems and natural resources.

The Lake Chad Sustainable Development Support Program seeks to clean out the Vrick canal to improve the volume of water flowing into the lake; to undertake feasibility and implementation studies on transferring water from the Ubangi River in the Central African Republic to the lake; and to undertake studies to reduce water loss caused by many small dams built on waterways feeding the lake.

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