As reported in The Guardian, on January 14, My regrets as water minister, Nigeria’s Water Resources Minister, Suleiman Adamu, regretted that all efforts by Nigerian President Buhari to get international support for the Lake Chad Inter-Basin Water Transfer, known as Transaqua, failed despite its importance.
The Transaqua water project is an inter-basin water transfer infrastructure project to refurbish the shrinking Lake Chad. This “Pan African” grand design to transport water, via a gravity canal, from the ultra moist Great Lakes Region to the arid Lake Chad Basin, would have a transformative effect on the African continent. Read: Save Lake Chad With Transaqua: Franklin Roosevelt and Kwame Nkrumah Would Concure.
According to The Guardian article, the project was designed to provide water to Maiduguri and a large part of North East region for irrigation and water supply for the next 50 years. Minister Adamu is quoted: Unfortunately, the Russia-Ukraine war diverted the attention of the international community from matters of socio-economic development.
Minister Adamu, along with Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari, is a strong supporter of Transaqua. Read: Nigerian Water Minister Promotes Transaqua–A Water Project to Save Lake Chad & Transform Africa
As the most well-known American advocate and authority on Transaqua, and a collaborator of Minister Adamu for Transaqua, I can say definitively: the failure to proceed with the Transaqua project is a great loss to the entire continent of Africa.
CGTN Africa, produced a two minute video that accurately describes the essential features Transaqua. Watch: Reviving Lake Chad with Transaqua. See transcription below
“…To revive one of Africa’s most important water bodies, Lake Chad. The Transaqua project was an ambitious initiative geared towards replenishing the waters of Lake Chad. It involved 12 countries working together to build a canal moving 100 billion cubic meters of water from the river Congo to the Lake every year. However, the project has yet to take off, nearly 30 years after it was conceptualized.” Then it switched to their correspondent:
“It has been over 30 years since engineers came up with an ambitious proposal to divert water from the Congo River basin to Lake Chad in central Africa to prevent the lake drying up. Since 1960, Lake Chad has shrunk to about 10 percent of its original size and the project was seen as a possible solution to the problem. The Transaqua project would involve 12 countries working together to build a 2400 km long canal to move about 100 billion cubic meters of water from the lake every year. Nigerian President Mohammed Buhari led the initiative, supported by countries that are members of the Lake Chad Basin Commission, namely Cameroon, Chad, Niger, Nigeria, Algeria, and Central Africa Republic. The canal was also intended to generate hydro-electricity at several points along its length. It was also seen as a solution to its security crisis caused by the Boko Haram insurgency. The project would help reduce conflicts over water and instability in the Lake Chad region. The estimated cost of the project was 50 billion USD, but the project has yet to come to fruition. The Democratic Republic of Congo has opposed the project and a section of French scientists say the large scale project could cause irreversible environmental damage.”
“The Transaqua project remains in this planning and feasibility study stage. Today, the Lake Chad basin supports more than 30 million people; this means that if it is actually accomplished, the Transaqua project will change the face of Africa, for better or for worse.”
Read my earlier posts:
Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is a teacher, writer, public speaker, and consultant on Africa. He is also the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton