President Muhammadu Buhari has appealed to developed nations to save Lake Chad from extinction as a result of the adverse effects of climate change.
A statement by Malam Garba Shehu, the president’s Senior Special Assistant, said Buhari made the call in Abuja when he received the Director-General of UNESCO, Ms Irina Bokova.
The President warned that failure to regenerate Lake Chad would lead to another round of migration by the people living in the area.
President Buhari led seven ministers to an interactive meeting with the UNESCO chief.
He said that Nigeria and the other countries of the Lake Chad Basin lacked the billions of dollars required to channel water from the Congo Basin into the lake to check its rapid depletion.
He said: “those living in the Lake Chad region have suffered untold hardship and displacement because of the violence perpetrated by Boko Haram terrorists.
“If there is no farming and fishing, they will dare the desert to migrate.
“Unless the developed countries make concerted efforts to complete the feasibility study, mobilise resources and technology to start the water transfer from the Congo Basin, Lake Chad will dry up.
“The people will go somewhere and they will create problems for those countries.”
Buhari commended UNESCO for its support to Nigeria particularly for the ongoing rehabilitation work in the North-East and reintegration of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).
He noted that the situation of the IDPs require immediate and urgent response from international organisations such as UNSECO in the provision of infrastructure, health and education.
In her remarks, the UNESCO Director-General, said she was in Nigeria to strengthen the organisation’s programme in the areas of science and technology, gender and youth development, culture, water resources development, health and environment.
Bokova commenced a week-long visit to West and Central Africa on Aug. 6.