Lake Chad Basin Commission
The Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) was established on 22nd of May 1964 by the four countries that border Lake Chad: Cameroon, Niger, Nigeria and Chad. The Republic of Central Africa joined the organization in 1996, Libya was admitted in 2008. Observer status is held by Sudan admitted, Egypt, the Republic of Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo. N’Djaména, Capital of Chad hosts the Headquarters of the Commission. The mandate of the Commission is to sustainably and equitably manage the Lake Chad and other shared water resources of the Lake Chad Basin, to preserve the ecosystems of the Lake Chad Conventional Basin, to promote regional integration, peace and security across the Basin. The LCBC is a basin organization, member of both the African Network of Basin Organizations (ANBO) and the International Network of Basin Organizations (INBO). The Commission if funded by contributions of Member State, but there is reflection for an autonomous financing of the Organization.
- Sustainable and equitable management of the Lake Chad waters and other transboundary water resources of the Lake Chad Basin;
- Preservation and protection of ecosystems of the catchment area;
- Promotion of integration, and preservation of peace and security peace in the Conventional Basin.
Vision of LCBC
VISION: The Lake Chad Region would like to see by the year 2025,
- the Lake Chad – common heritage – and other wetlands maintained at sustainable levels to ensure the economic security of the freshwater ecosystem resources, sustained biodiversity and aquatic resources of the basin, the use of which should be equitable to serve the needs of the population of the basin thereby reducing the poverty level.
- A Lake Chad Region where the regional and national authorities accept responsibilities for freshwater, ecosystem and biodiversity conservation and judicious integrated river basin management to achieve sustainable development.
- A Lake Chad Region where every Member States has equitable access to safe and adequate water resources to meet its needs and rights and maintain its freshwater, ecosystem and biodiversity resources.
- To collect, evaluate, and disseminate information on projects prepared by member States and recommend plans for common projects and joint research programmes in the Basin;
- To keep close contact between the High Contracting Parties with a view to ensuring the most efficient use of the waters of the Basin;
- To monitor the execution of studies and works in the basin, and to keep member States informed;
- To draw up common rules regarding navigation and transport;
- To draw up staff regulations and to ensure their application;
- To examine complaints and to promote the settlement of disputes.
The Lake Chad is the main source of food security and livelihoods in the region. Despite its importance, it is being faced with a number of risks including demographic pressure, climate change effects, water pollution and insecurity as a result of terrorism attacks from Boko Haram. These challenges are threatening the lives of people in countries around the lake. To address these issues, the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) has developed a Strategic Action Plan, in line with its vision 2025, to focus interventions on the following areas:
Water Resources Management
The two main hydro-systems within the catchment are the Chari-Logone and the Komadougou-Yobé. They are composed of rivers, streams, canals, lakes, reservoirs, permanent and temporary ponds. Variability in rainfall pattern and temperature is shrinking the lake, impacting negatively on the ecosystem and livelihood activities including fishing, livestock farming and agriculture. In this regard, our activities are focused on ensuring equitable management of the Lake Chad and other shared water resources in the basin as well as conducting studies on the potential of ground water.
Climate Action for Ecosystem and Biodiversity Preservation
The Lake Chad basin has a wealth of flora and fauna, particularly with different species of fish and birds. Protected areas of international importance have been created to make it possible to protect these species, but these are often poorly managed. The basin’s desert landscapes, shrub-steppes, savannah areas, forest, wetlands and mountainous areas make up the ecosystem. However, climate in the Lake Chad basin is Sahelian, mostly characterized by a very short rainy season and a long dry season for the rest of the year. LCBC is working with various stakeholders to reverse the effect of climate change and biodiversity degradation.
Promoting Regional Integration, Peace and Security
Over the last decade, the four countries around Lake Chad Basin, including Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria, have experienced unprecedented levels of crises, exacerbated by repeated incidences of violence from the Boko Haram terrorist group. These crises have deepened instability, slowed economic growth and engendered deep humanitarian concerns in the region. Additionally, the spread of radicalization especially amongst the youth remains an imminent threat to peace, stability and development. Absolutist ideologies that reject co-existence, tolerance and progress represent an existential threat to these countries. As such, these ideologies have found recruits amongst the youth who believe that the state has failed them and that they are excluded from legitimate political and economic processes from time to time. The crisis has created an urgent humanitarian need for about 10.7 million people in the region. Almost a quarter of these people have been forced to flee their homes due to conflict or food shortages, largely brought on by Boko Haram’s insurgency. In response to the crisis, LCBC is implementing a regional stabilization strategy (RSS) to address the root causes of the Boko Haram insurgency and put an end to the conflict. Read more on the RSS here. (Pls redirect to the RSS under Resource Centre).