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How to Save Lake Chad

Lake Chad’s declining water level has been on the political agenda of the Sahel region since the 1960s. The water is shared by Niger, Nigeria, Chad and Cameroon though it also affects communities in the larger regional spread of the basin that includes Libya, Algeria, Sudan and the Central African Republic. It’s central to the livelihoods of over 30 million people. One proposed solution for the shrinking resource was to divert water from the Congo River to Lake Chad via a 2,400km-long canal. The Lake Chad Basin Commission – representing Cameroon, Chad, Niger, Nigeria, Algeria, the Central African Republic, Libya, and Sudan – chose this option in 2018. It’s estimated to cost around US$50 billion. The Transaqua Project remains in the planning and feasibility study stage. But the Democratic Republic of Congo opposes the project. It has commented, at the presidential and parliamentary level, that discussions on Transaqua has not given it a space for participation or consensus building. The future of Transaqua rests on the challenge of building effective collaboration and consensus between all stakeholders.