n Africa Conflict Monthly Monitor - Water security-related conflict in West Africa - : West Africa - issue in focus

Volume 2014, Issue 01
  • ISSN :


The Lake Chad Basin is a vital source of drinking water and sustenance to over 30 million people, who draw water from Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria. The lake itself is fed by the Yobe, and predominantly, by the Chari rivers. Famously, Lake Chad has been shrinking dramatically, particularly since the 1960s. This shrinking is commonly pointed to as evidence of climate change and/or evidence of anthropogenic (human caused) accelerated environmental degradation. Such human interventions include irrigation and the damming of rivers feeding the lake for hydro-electric schemes. The shrinking of Lake Chad is certainly an ecological disaster; and the role of increased pressure on the lake by local populaces can be considered a contributing factor to the dramatic drop in Lake Chad's surface area. However, there is reason to remain cautious about overblown predictions of the total depletion of the lake, or the attribution of responsibility and blame for the reduction in the surface area. A broader geological perspective shows that Lake Chad has, through cycles over thousands and hundreds of thousands of years, shrunk and refilled.

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Article metrics loading...


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error