Abuja, December 13, 2016 – The Lake Chad Basin Commission and PowerChina International Group Limited (PowerChina) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a view to setting forth the principles of a technical and financial assistance arrangement towards the actualization of the water transfer from the Congo Basin to Lake Chad.
This MoU is to establish the basis on which the parties shall carry out successful further research of Lake Chad Basin Water Transfer Project and other future projects in accordance with the Lake Chad Basin Water Charter, national legislations, regulations and practices of member countries. The additional research under this MoU is to strengthen the climate change resilience in the Sahel and to raise this project into an African Infrastructure project by opening a new corridor of development linking West and Central Africa through:
- Potentially transferring 50 billion m3 annually to the Lake Chad through a series of dams in DRC, Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic.
- Potentially generating up to 15 to 25 thousand million kWh of hydroelectricity through the mass movement of the water by the gravity.
- Potentially developing a series of irrigated areas for crops, or livestock over an area of 50 000 to 70 000 km2 in the Sahel zone in Chad, North-East Nigeria, Northern Cameroon, and Niger.
- Creating an expanded economic zone by providing new infrastructure platform of development in agriculture, industries, transportation, and electric production, affecting up to 12 African nations.
An earlier pre-feasibility study was completed by CIMA Internationl, a Canadian firm in 2011. The study determined that it is technically feasible to transfer water from the Ubangi sub-basin of the River Congo to the Lake Chad through a combined projects of the Palambo and Bria dams, transfer infrastructure in conjunction with river training of sections of Chari and Logone rivers is expected to increase the level of the lake, halt the receding of the lake and the drying of the north basin in the existing climatic scenario.
Owned by the government of the People’s republic of China, PowerChina (specialized in investigation, planning, designing, supervision and construction, operation and maintenance of infrastructure including water works, power plant, bridges, harbors, railways and other related facilities) agreed to fund itself to the tune of US $ 1,8 million while LCBC will provide all necessary information and assistance requested.
The MoU is valid for a period of four (4) years and could be extended upon re-negotiation by the parties. Both parties agreed to execute this MoU within the timeline in the attachment to the MoU and to allow the participation of LCBC staff in the further research in accordance with the local content policy of the member countries as may be agreed upon by the Parties.
As a reminder, it was the Heads of State and Government of the Lake Chad Basin Commission at their 14th Summit, in N’Djamena, in April 2012, who authorized the Executive Secretariat of the Commission to forward the file of water transfer project identified as a priority project in its master plan. The core idea is to increase the water quantity in the Lake Chad, to improve the water flow conditions, to alleviate poverty within the basin through socio-economic activities, to meet the energy needs of towns and surrounding of the two Congo and to conduct an in-depth environmental impact assessment.