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SHRINKING LAKE CHAD COULD TRIGGER HUMANITARIAN DISASTER, UN AGENCY WARNS
New York, Oct 15 2009 11:05AM
Lake Chad, once one of the world’s largest water bodies, could disappear in 20 years due to climate change and population pressures, resulting in a humanitarian disaster in central Africa, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (<“http://www.fao.org/”>FAO) warned today.
The lake – surrounded by Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria – has shrunk by 90 per cent, going from 25,000 square kilometers in 1963 to less than 1,500 square kilometers in 2001.
The 30 million people living in the Lake Chad region are being forced into competing over water, and the drying up of the lake could lead to migration and conflicts, FAO cautioned.
Fish production has recorded a 60 per cent decline, while pasturelands have been degraded, resulting in a shortage of animal feed, livestock and biodiversity.
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