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AfDB to create $50bn funding for inter-basin water transfer —FG

The Federal Government said there is collaborative effort by the African Development Bank (AfDB) to create a $50 billion funding for the inter-basin water transfer and other Pan-African Infrastructure projects.

Nigerian Tribune gathered that this was part of a major recommendation of the International Conference on the Lake Chad in February 2018, in collaboration with Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) and the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

The Federal Government has been concerned about the drying up of Lake Chad which has been a source of livelihood of millions of both Nigerians and other nationals who rely on the water for fishing and other economic activities.

President Muhammadu Buhari is, accordingly, leading efforts to recharge it given reports by some experts that the drying up of the Lake is partly responsible for farmers-herders clashes in some part of the country.

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A source at the Federal Ministry of Water Resources confirmed to Nigerian Tribune that government is working with the AFDB on how to raise the requisite fund for the project.

The immediate past Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, also confirmed the development recently in Abuja, when he disclosed that the Federal Government, through the ministry, had in an effort to save the Lake Chad from extinction championed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) and a Chinese company on the proposed Inter Basin Water Transfer Project from the Congo Basin into Lake Chad.

He noted that the Italian government had also committed €1.5 million towards finalising the feasibility study on the proposed Inter-basin Water Transfer Project.

Adamu recalled that the Ministry of Water Resources had initiated discussions with the China Bureau of the South to North Water Diversion Project and is facilitating the collaboration between the Bureau and Lake Chad Basin Commission.

“This is to leverage on the unique technical experience of China in the construction of its South-North Water Diversion Project, which involves transfer of 18 billion cubic litres of water for over a combined distance of 4,500 kilometre,” he said.

According to him, the ministry has completed the engineering design and is now in the process of commencing the Hawal Inter – Basin Transfer from River Ngadda.

The ex-minister had explained that Phase I of the project is to augment raw water supply to Alau Dam so as to provide more sustainable source of water supply to Maiduguri and environs.

Adamu added that Phase 2 of the project would resuscitate the 60,000 Ha South Chad Irrigation Scheme, which had become moribund following continuous drying up of Lake Chad over the years, by diverting some of the water from Hawal to South Chad through canals and tunnels.

“It needs to be emphasised that this project is proposed in the Water Resources Master Plan first developed in 1995 and the largest of the only two projects initiated during my tenure,” he said.

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