On October 16, 2018, in Rome, the Italian Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea and the Lake Chad Basin Commission signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the aim to manage the impact of climate change in the Lake Chad basin.
The Italian Ministry for the Environment co-finances the activities approved under the Protocol with an amount of 1.5 million euros.
Lake Chad is located in the Sahel and overlooks the Republics of Chad, Cameroon, Niger and Nigeria. From the 1960s to today, the lake's extension area has shrunk by 90% due to climate change (prolonged drought, low rainfall, strong evaporation), population growth and unplanned irrigation. The impact of climate change, extreme poverty and violent conflicts make, according to the United Nations, about 10 million people living on the shores of the lake in need of humanitarian protection.
The specific purpose of the Memorandum of Understanding is the coordination and development of a feasibility study for the water transfer from the Ubangi-Congo basin to the Lake Chad basin. In particular, the study will aim:
a) to assess, at feasibility level, the technical possibility of transferring water resources from the Ubangi-Congo basin to the Lake Chad;
b) to examine the opportunities that this process can create in terms of renewable energy production and inland navigation;
c) to identify the indicators to be dealt with to ascertain the environmental, economic and social impacts - directly and indirectly - attributable to the water transfer from one basin to another, and the relevant remedial and mitigation measures;
d) to develop a preliminary cost estimate related to the implementation of the project;
e) identification of risks including possible alternative solutions.
The Lake Chad Basin Commission will submit to the Joint Committee the Terms of Reference for the selection of companies responsible for developing the study and will finalize the selection through a public call.