Lake Chad: Fluctuations and Shrinking of Lakes Are Early Warning Indicators of Impending Disaster and Climate Change

Lake Chad is Africa’s second largest lake, covering an area of 25,000 square kilometres providing fresh water and other resources to more than 20 million people living in and about thirty shore-line communities of the four riparian countries (Chad, Cameroon, Nigeria and Niger) which along with the Central African Republic makes up the conventional Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC).

Lake Chad is located at the heart of the fragile basin, it is a shallow freshwater lake and currently offers most of its shores in Chad and Cameroon, but historically shares them with Nigeria and Niger. Originally in Nigeria, Boko Haram is among the world’s deadliest terrorist groups, their target began to spread Nigeria’s boarders into Chad River Basin Countries. Hundreds of thousands of people from the basin who were living in and near fled the violence eventually finding refuge in Chad’s villages and IDPs camps in Maiduguri, the capital city of Borno state and other places. In Chad, the influx of displaced Chadians and refugees, on the top of local population who are now depending on land Chad for subsistence, have strained the lake’s resources combined with the advancing desert, the future of the lake is more uncertain than ever.

It’s well known fact that, the surface area of the Lake Chad fluctuates seasonally and it mass has varied greatly over the centuries. Drought desertification, deforestation and resources mismanagement in addition to climate change have contributed to its drastic reduction in size by almost 90% in the last 60 yrs.

As fresh water and other resources of the lake continue to diminish, economic livelihoods have been significantly disrupted such that local populations relying on the lake for their survival have followed it’s receding waters.
With water levels at the lowest, combined with a larger population pulling from ground water for personal use or irrigation projects, the lake is not able to replenish itself. The fish became smaller and declined in number. As more people wash themselves and their belongings in the lake, the water becomes a health hazard to those who drink directly from it, creating illness and exacerbating malnutrition. The lakes disappearance has brought one gift, the mineral deposit of nation that is left behind as water evaporates. In spite of the cat astropha 100mmg, the landscape of Lake Chad is remarkably stunning.

Climate change or fluctuation is the major factor in the drying up of the lake. The impact of climate change in the lake hacks back to many decades. The hydrological history of the lake has found that, the balance between water intake and evaporation is continually fluctuating, with the result that Lake Chad, because it being so shallow, is continually changing its size and shape. These fluctuations may be seen as of 3 different kinds: Long-term, short-term and seasonal. They reflect variations in rainfall not only on the area of the lake itself but particularly in the watershed areas of the feeder Rivers. Fluctuations in the lake are thus a fairly sensitive early warning indicator of climate change over a substantial area of Africa.

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