The Lake Chad Basin Commission and Italy have signed an MoU on conducting Feasibility Studies for the Inter-Basin Water Transfer Project
As part of cooperation between the Government of Italy and LCBC in the field of Climate Change Vulnerability, Risk Assessment, Adaptation and Mitigation, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed on 16 October 2018, in Rome between LCBC and the Italian Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea (IMELS). The purpose of the Memorandum of Understanding is to coordinate and complete feasibility studies for the water transfer from Ubangi-Congo basin to Lake Chad basin. It includes:
(i) assessing, at feasibility level, the technical possibility of transferring water resources from the Ubangi-Congo Basin to the Lake Chad;
(ii) reviewing additional outcomes of the project, especially in terms of renewable power production and inland navigation;
(iii) identifying issues to be addressed to ascertain the environmental, social and economic impacts possibly caused directly or indirectly by implementing the water transfer and relevant remedial and mitigation measures;
(iv) carrying out a preliminary cost estimate and project implementation phasing; and
(v) determining the scope and relevance of the project, such as assessing alternatives and identifying risks.
The MoU states that to ensure the efficient implementation of its provisions, the parties shall set up a Joint Committee composed of two representatives from IMELS and two representatives from LCBC. IMELS shall be represented on the one hand by the Director General of the Department for Sustainable Development, Environmental Damage, European Union and International Affairs and one expert. LCBC shall be represented on the other hand by its Executive Secretary and the Director Technical.
The Joint Committee shall oversee and provide general guidance, approve the Terms of Reference and the work plan, supervise and support cooperation activities and make financial decisions.
It should be recalled that the Italian Ambassador to Nigeria, on 27 February 2018 during the Abuja International Conference on Saving the Lake Chad, announced the pledge of one million five hundred thousand Euros for this purpose. The feasibility study will be carried out jointly with PowerChina, a Chinese company that benefitted from one million eight hundred thousand dollars pledge by the Chinese government.