Buhari directs implementation of 1920 report to save Lake Chad
The Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Environment, Nana Aisha Mede, who confirmed the Presidential directive, while briefing State House correspondents when she led other top management staff of the ministry to brief the President in his office, said it was borne out of concern for the fast receding lake, thereby exacerbating environmental degradation.
The lake is thought to have receded from about 33,000square kilometres to about 300square kilometres in two decades. The permanent secretary said the President was concerned that the drying up of the waters is affecting farmers, fishermen and the surrounding communities who relied on the lake for their livelihood.
She said: “The President has directed that we should go and look at the report that was submitted 1920 about how to prevent Lake Chad from drying up so that the communities around, even border communities, including the countries benefitting from activities of fishermen are not affected.”
Mede said the president expressed concern over the general environment degradation in the country, which is affecting over 43 percent of the population. According to her, Buhari has therefore directed that more measures be put in place to check the trend, including the use of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) for cooking, especially in the urban areas of the country. She added: “It (the meeting) went very well because the President is concerned about the environmental degradation in the country. He knows that the sustainability of the country will depend on how well we manage the environment.
“Currently, over 43% of Nigerians are affected by the effect of desertification and you see the conflict that comes up between the herdsmen and farmers because of forced migration, moving away from the dessert to the South West where they can get grass to feed the animals. “So, the President has directed that to reduce the rate at which wood is being cut down for fuel for cooking, we should look at promoting the use of LPG, especially in the cities, that in the villages, it will be difficult.
“For instance, if everybody in Abuja is using LPG gas to cook, the rate at which people cut down wood to sell will be reduced. “So, he has directed that we should bring up that report immediately and see how we can promote the use of LPG to reduce the rate at which trees are being cut down. “He was also concerned about the level of environmental management, solid waste, erosion control, pollution, air quality, climate change, the general environmental situation in the country.”