The President who made this known in Abuja on Monday at the International Conference of Lake Chad, said that the lake has been the epicenter of Boko haram insurgency.
President Buhari who was represented by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, noted that the Lake Chad basin has now shrunk by 90 per cent of its size from a peak of 25,000 square kilometer to currently somewhere in the region of about 1,350 square kilometer.
He said the conference was organized to deepen local and international awareness on the extinction of over 40 million people in nation struggle by the Lake Chad province of Chad, Nigeria Cameroon, Niger and also the Central Africa Republic who depend on this water for their livelihood.
Buhari said:”This ecological catastrophe is only one side of the story, the other side is the determined and commendable work going on to redress and rewrite the fate of the lake water at its peak.”
He said the Visibility study of the inter basin water transfer from the Congo river to the lake was supported by Nigeria with a grant of 5million US dollar.
Buhari described the Lake Chad basin as a global problem that needed to be address urgently.
In his welcome address,the Minister of water resources, Engr. Suleiman Adamu said the Lake Chad Basin is a trans-boundary basin stretching over 2,397423KM2 , covering Nigeria, Chad, Niger, the Central Africa Republic, Sudan, Cameroun and Libya.
According to him, the lake is an epicentre of human, animal and plant life for the region. “The lake basin contains a variety of habitats, including deserts, shrub steppe, savannah, forest, lakes wetlands and mountains.
He added that over the past four decades, the lake’s surface has reportedly shrunk from 25,000sq.km(8,494 2 square miles) to meager 2,500sq
Adamu, however, noted that saving the Lake Chad in a sustainable manner is a task which requires the collaboration of all relevant stakeholders. “Therefore all hands must be on deck to save the lake from extinction”.