Applied Water Resource Management in the Lake Chad Basin

Project description

Title: Applied Water Resource Management in the Lake Chad Basin
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Chad
Lead executing agency: Lake Chad Basin Commission
Overall term: 2019 to 2022

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Context

The Lake Chad Basin is one of Africa's largest river basins, with a population of about 42 million. With its vast expanses of arable and grazing land and rich fish stocks, it is an important area both economically and environmentally for the riparian states of Chad, Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon, Central African Republic and Libya. 

The water resources of the Lake Chad Basin are threatened by population growth, agricultural use and the now clearly noticeable effects of climate change. The resulting potential for conflict in the region threatens the livelihoods of the Lake Chad Basin population. This consists for the most part of poor households living on subsistence agriculture.

This population group is especially vulnerable to climate-induced increases in extreme weather events. Many people are unable to repair damage caused by heavy rainfall or flooding, or to compensate for crop failures due to drought. The households of single women, who are disadvantaged both socially and economically, are especially severely affected. 

Appropriate management of surface and groundwater resources as well as of the soils in the Lake Chad Basin can help to improve environmental conditions and stabilise the population’s economic situation.

It was for this purpose that the Lake Chad Basin Commission was founded by the riparian states back in 1964. It is mandated to protect the natural resources, regulate cross-border water use, mediate in disputes and advise the member countries on dealing with cross-border issues. The Commission needs support to enable it to fulfil these diverse tasks.

Objective

Cross-border resource management in the Lake Chad Basin has improved. Agricultural production has increased because the effects of climate change have been taken into account.

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Approach

The project supports the Lake Chad Basin Commission in its central mission of ensuring sustainable, integrated water resource management across national borders. In doing so, it is contributing to climate change adaptation, food security and higher incomes and, indirectly, to resolving conflict in the region. Together with the affected member countries the project is identifying priority issues in the Lake Chad Basin and the necessary countermeasures. It is also helping establish a cross-border management structure. This guarantees the participation of all the crucial stakeholders, especially women and female farmers. Some of the measures are being implemented by the subcontractor, the AHT Group.

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Results

  • Around 1,250 farmers have received seed, agricultural materials and training in climate change adaptation and sustainable pest control, and support for their farming activities.
  • Employees of the Lake Chad Basin Commission have been trained as trainers in the use of the Lake Chad Information System (LIS). They have conducted regional training courses on use of the system for the Commission’s member countries.
  • The first annual monitoring report was adopted and the ‘Cross-border Problem Analysis of the Lake Chad Basin’ has been updated. These documents serve as the basis for improved water resource management in the region.
  • A household survey was conducted in the intervention zone in Chad and Cameroon. This enables increased incomes and other key data for the agricultural adaptation measures that have been implemented to be measured.

Last update: Januar 2021