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Offline lionger

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Shrinking Lake Chad
« on: January 15, 2007, 06:35:06 PM »
Lake Chad fishermen pack up their nets

By Senan Murray
BBC News website, Lake Chad 


Muhammadu Bello and his nine children used to depend on Lake Chad for their livelihoods.

But the former fisherman became a farmer as the waters vanished eastwards from the shores of his village in north-east Nigeria.

Experts are warning that the lake, which was once Africa's third largest inland water body, could shrink to a mere pond in two decades.

A recent study by Nasa and the German Aerospace Centre blames global warming and human activity for Africa's disappearing water.

Cheating

"Africa is being cheated again by the industrialised West," says Jacob Nyanganji of Nigeria's University of Maiduguri.

"Africa does not produce any significant amount of greenhouse gases, but it's our lakes and rivers that are drying up. America has refused to ratify Kyoto and it is our lakes that are drying up."
Villagers in Nigeria's semi-arid border region with Chad, Niger and Cameroon understand full well the consequences of what is happening.

"I don't know what global warming is, but what I do know is that this lake is dying and we are all dying with it," says Mr Bello.

"Some 27 years ago when I started fishing on the lake, we used to catch fish as large as a man.

"But now this is all the fishermen bring in after a whole night of fishing," he says pointing at tiny catfish piled on the ground in Doron Baga's once-famous fish market.

His family now farm on rich, dark loamy soil that was once part of the lake - growing onions, peppers, tomatoes and maize.



 There are constant arguments over territory between fishermen
Fisherman Muhammad Sanusi 

"This entire area used to be covered with water when I first came here," Mr Bello says with a sweep of his hand as we left the village by car heading towards the lake - a journey which took three hours along a bumpy dusty trail.

As recently as 1966, Lake Chad, which sits between Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon and Niger, was a huge expanse of water that the locals fondly referred to as an "ocean".

The Central African Republic's Logone and Chari rivers empty into the lake. But reduced rainfall and damming of the rivers means that only half of the water now gets to the lake.

The Komadougou-Yobe River in far north-eastern Nigeria which also feeds the lake now flows only during the rainy season.

Clashes

"I tell you even animals and birds have been dying around here. There are fewer of them now," says Musa Niger, a fisherman in Duguri, an island village in the middle of the lake.



Another Duguri resident, Umaru Mustapha cuts in. He used to earn $100 a day, but now earns about $6.

"Some of our colleagues are tired of this difficult life and have turned to farming," he says.

"I cannot do this as there are hardly any rains these days and for dry season farming you have to depend on the lake water which is too much hassle," he says.

At the lake bank, workers offload heavy parcels of smoked catfish from locally made boats fitted with outboard engines.

The fish is brought in from the Chadian side of the lake where most of the water is to be found.

Nigerian fishermen who have chased the receding lake to Chadian and Cameroonian territories complain of harassment by tax officials and occasional clashes with locals.


"There are constant arguments over territory between fishermen," says Muhammad Sanusi, a fisherman in Dogon Fili, another village which sprang up in the middle of the drying lake less than 15 years ago.
"It's difficult to determine boundaries on water, yet the gendarmes [from Cameroon and Chad] always come after us and seize our fishing nets and traps and we have to pay heavily to get them back."

He says the arguments often lead to violence among the 30m-strong shoreline communities who are competing for access to water and pasture and some villagers now opt to seek employment in Maiduguri, capital of Nigeria's north-eastern Borno State.

'Global heritage'

For the politicians, there is no arguing with the figures: 40 years ago, the lake was 25,000 sq km and the daily fish catch was some 230,000 tonnes; now it is 500 sq km with a catch of barely 50,000 tonnes.

The Sahara Desert in the north is speeding towards the lake.

"Lake Chad is a global heritage and now a disaster waiting to happen," speaker of Nigeria's House of Representatives said at a recent meeting to discuss ways to save the disappearing lake.


Aminu Bello Masari told the meeting that "already pastoralists have been forced out of the lake to move their herds to the wetter south which has already caused conflicts between herders and farmers".

A plan to channel water from Oubangi River in the Central African Republic to Lake Chad is yet to begin due to lack of funding.

A feasibility study is still being discussed, after which the countries involved hope to approach international donors for funding.

But as livelihoods are destroyed and the desert heads ever southwards, time is of the essence for the planners.





Offline lionger

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Re: Shrinking Lake Chad
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2007, 06:38:11 PM »
« Last Edit: January 17, 2007, 04:25:55 PM by lionger »

Offline HUSNAA

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Re: Shrinking Lake Chad
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2007, 07:05:03 PM »
Lake Chad fishermen pack up their nets



"Africa is being cheated again by the industrialised West," says Jacob Nyanganji of Nigeria's University of Maiduguri.
"Africa does not produce any significant amount of greenhouse gases, but it's our lakes and rivers that are drying up. America has refused to ratify Kyoto and it is our lakes that are drying up."




He says the arguments often lead to violence among the 30m-strong shoreline communities who are competing for access to water and pasture and some villagers now opt to seek employment in Maiduguri, capital of Nigeria's north-eastern Borno State.

Aha!!! Vindicated!!!
When I noted in the saddam executed thread that Bush was guilty of genocide, and his actions unlike Saddam's affect millions, U (Lionger) wrote that


"This is the most amazing charge of all. Bush is guilty of genocide because he refused to ratify the Kyoto protocol? That's quite a stretch!"

Well its not such a stretch after all then is it? What did Jacob Nyanganji say up there?? ... quite!! So refusing to ratify the Kyoto agreement is affecting some 30 million ppl who are one way or another dependent on lake Chad hey??? Lol the 'whatever' has come home to roost!!!

Anyway thanks for bringing up this topic about L. Chad, its a topic after my own heart. I am truly interested in it.
Ghafurallahi lana wa lakum

NewEte

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Re: Shrinking Lake Chad
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2007, 02:30:10 PM »
Husnna, I have a hard time understanding your logic here. You accuse Prez Bush of genocide becuase a Nigerian professor of geography at the University of Maiduguri thinks so? Duhh! Ok, in the pacific north west, several people are dead especially in Oklahoma and sorrounding areas because of severe snow storm. Livestock is at risk because the most of the farmlands are iced ove. Cattles, mules, etc are in danger because they cannot feed on the shrubs and grass. As an alternative, hay is being dropped on farms so the livestock don't die from starvation. Are you going to blame bush for this also?

Bush has admitted several times that global warming is real. You Husnna are totally ignorant of facts. World leading environmentalists will not go as far as accusing Bush of genocide due to the shrinking lake chad. That's just absurd. The effects of global warming are universal and not just limited to lake Chad or Africa. The US is committed to a 5% CO 2 emissions reduction. Canada, a worse offender is committed to a 6% reduction. Three other countries have refused to ratify this treaty. They are, Australia, Monaco and Liechtenstein. I don't see you accusing these nations of genocide.

The question I would like to ask you however is this, do Nigerians in Nigeria contribute to environmental pollution? I was in Lagos last summer, and I am telling you, the pollution in the environment is unreal. Pollution from vehicles alone, personal and commercial, is enough to dry up river Niger, river Benue, River in Rivers State and then Lake Chad.  What has the Nigerian government done to reduce environmental pollution in Nigeria? The pollution Nigeria emits is probably killing more people each year than other factors but no one knows because nothing works anyway, and there's no way of tracking any atmospheric changes that affect people or the environment.

If we look at oil plants in Nigeria, you'll notice vertical drones where gas in form of burning fire emits contineously into the atmosphere. This has been the case in all the plants since their contruction. Can you quantity the impact of that after several decades of environmental irresponsibility that we, not the west, create in our own society.

The interesting thing is that the alarm about environmental degradation was brought to international limelight by Western scientist and green advocates. SomeAfrican professors now jump on the band wagon and pretend like they made these discoveries from the onset.

NewEte

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Re: Shrinking Lake Chad
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2007, 02:43:04 PM »
Husnna, here is an article for your consumption. I found it at this website:
http://medilinkz.org/news/news2.asp?NewsID=294



NIGERIA: Focus on the environmental impact of gas flaring - Monday, November 12, 2001 


LAGOS, 12 November (IRIN) - The most outstanding sight in the tiny fishing village of Batan in southern Nigeria, is a 10-metre-high flame that burns continuously from a vertical pipe at the edge of one of the many facilities the Shell oil company has in the Niger Delta.

The flame pales in bright sunlight, but at night its orange glow dominates the village and surrounding skies over a 15-kilometre radius. It is fed by the natural gas given off during the production of crude oil, and which is burnt away as waste.

"Batan has known no darkness since Shell set up in the place more than 10 years ago," Dan Orubebe, a Niger Delta activist and community member, told IRIN in Lagos. "The surrounding vegetation has withered while the health of the inhabitants has deteriorated."

More than a thousand such flares burn in and off the Niger Delta, a 70,000-sq.km region that produces much of Nigeria's oil, and where natural gas has been going up in flames ever since oil production began 40 years ago in the West African country. Each day up to 2.7 billion cubic feet - about 70 percent - of the gas released during oil production is burned off
in Nigeria. This sends huge volumes of greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide and methane, into the atmosphere, while sulphur dioxide emissions come back to the Delta as acid rain. Inhabitants of the region complain of health problems - mainly respiratory - as well as damage to wildlife, homes and vegetation.

Known reserves of natural gas in Nigeria are estimated at over 180 trillion cubic feet, which is enough, some experts say, to power the rest of Africa for centuries. Potential reserves are estimated at between 45 trillion and 100 trillion cubic feet. However, in the past four decades alone, the country's oilfields have produced about 23 trillion cubic feet of
gas, most of which has been flared.

Over the years, oil companies operating in Nigeria, which include Shell, Exxon-Mobil, Chevron, Totalfina-Elf, Agip and Texaco, have invoked several factors for not exploiting the gas. These include lack of local and regional demand, absence of infrastructure for distribution, and the high cost of investments required to take the gas to international markets.

Initially, the government's effort to tackle the problem of flaring was limited to a token tax of about 15 US cents per 1,000 cubic feet of gas flared - too light to serve as a deterrent - and the practice continued.

"Current statistics indicate that Nigeria accounts for about 19 percent of the total amount of gas flared globally," Minister of State for Environment Ime Okopido told a recent seminar in Lagos. "Nigeria, as a nation, recognises the realities of large-scale flaring of natural gas and the associated impacts."


Indeed, the Niger Delta, as a coastal area, is among the places most likely to become vulnerable to the effects of global warming. Of particular concern, Okopido said, is the likely impact of rising sea levels, such as tidal waves and flooding.

In the past decade, efforts have been multiplied in Nigeria to cut back on flaring and, eventually, end the practice altogether. A major event in this regard was the start of natural gas exports in October 1999 from a US-$3.8-billion Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) plant at Bonny Island on the Atlantic coast. The NLNG company, formed in the early 1990s,
is a joint venture involving Nigeria (49 percent), Shell (25.6 percent) Totalfina-Elf (15 percent), and Agip (10.4 percent).

Exxon-Mobil has its own natural gas liquids project which, the company says, is now using 70 percent of the natural gas obtained in its oilfields. Chevron has its Escravos Gas Project, which was the first to begin gas exports in 1997, and is currently undergoing expansion.

Chevron, Shell and the state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation are involved in the West African Gas Pipeline project with the governments of Benin, Ghana and Togo. The project aims to develop a regional market for gas.

Most of the companies are also in the process of setting up power plants that will use gas.

With all these projects in the works, both Nigerian and oil company officials expressed the hope in 1998 that gas flaring would end by 2008. However, on assuming office in 1999, President Olusegun Obasanjo called for an end to the practice by 2004.

Agip and Exxon-Mobil already had plans to end flaring by 2004, while the target year for Totalfina-Elf and Chevron was 2005. However Shell, which produces about half of Nigeria's oil output, has more extensive operations, and felt more comfortable with a 2008 deadline given the huge costs the operation entailed.

"By 2008, all Shell flow-stations and processing facilities will be
provided with equipment to gather and harness their gas," said David Balogun, one of the managers responsible for Shell Nigeria's gas projects, "and Shell and its customers will be able to utilise this gas under normal operating conditions".

Vice President Atiku Abubakar announced in late October that the new deadline for ending all gas flares in the oil region would be 2008. Critics have denounced the change as evidence that Shell is shaping the government's energy policy.

But Chima Okeke, an oil industry expert, argues that the difference of four years is largely academic. "Considering that the flares will be at their most minimal in the last four years, probably less than 15 percent of total gas produced, I don't think it matters too much," he told IRIN. "We should just hope that irreversible damage was not done to the environment during the preceding 45 years of the flares."

Offline lionger

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Re: Shrinking Lake Chad
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2007, 05:17:37 PM »
Hehehe oh Husnaa,

When I read and posted this article I certainly noted that Nyanganji echoed your sentiments, and I suspected that you would jump on it - and you have readily obliged  :D. I will concede that this argument makes much better contextual sense on a thread like this rather than a thread on Saddam Hussein's execution; however it still lacks real susbtance IMHO.

Firstly, most experts agree - even as the BBC article noted - that Lake Chad's disappearance is a result of climate change as well as other factors - most notably, human abuse. Two years ago, Global International Waters Assessment (GIWA) released a report on a regional assessment of the Lake Chad. Funny enough, this report placed the blame primarily on freshwater shortage caused by irrigation projects and several reservior dams constructed about 40 years ago. In addition to climate change, the report also fingered pollution and overfishing, albeit as secondary causes. So I really wonder why Mr. Nyanganji found it fit to pinpoint global warming only as the major cause of the lake's shrinkage. Perhaps, seeing that he was being interviewed by the BBC which is a Western media outlet, he decided to have a go at the West. But this ignores the fact that the water resources of the lake were being used at an unsustainable level for 4 decades by the adjacent communities and governments.

Secondly, criticising the U.S. for not ratifying the Kyoto protocol is once again a futile attempt at blame-shifting (as already shown from the above). Moreover, this argument is based on ignorance. Just because the U.S. refused to ratify the accord does not mean that it is not doing anything. In fact, it is doing better than other Kyoto signatories at reducing emmissions. Ete took the words out of my mouth when he compared the U.S.' performance with Canada's woeful, almost non-existent attempt. The previous Liberal government that ratified the Protocol took swipes at the U.S. for not doing so; yet they did precious little themselves. Fastforward to the present, and Canada is about 35% off its target and has declared that it would not be able to meet its obligations under Kyoto. Moreover, it has expressed interest in participating in the U.S.-sponsored AP6 agreement; thus adopting a rather contrarian stance. The U.S. has made commitments to emmission reduction and is keeping them. Nyanganji's argument is purely of sentimental value and precious little else.

Let's even consider the hypothetical scenario that Bush, on coming into office in 2001, immediately summitted the Kyoto Protocol to the Senate for ratification, got it ratified, and kept up with the commitment. Do you really think that within the space of six years that the U.S. solely would make a real difference in Lake Chad? This is climate change we're talking about that affects all parts of the globe. And its not like Lake Chad disappeared over the past year. By the late 80s the Lake had already shrunk to nearly half its size; for all his incompetence Bush was nowhere near the scene of influence. So in light of all this, how can Bush possibly be deemed guilty of genocide?

The last point I'd like to make is that as far back as 1992 leading experts identified the primary causes of the Lake Chad shrinkage (i.e. freshwater overuse) and made recommendations in an extensive report. What did the governments of the Lake Chad Basin (i.e. Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Cameroun) do with these recommendations? Did they do anything? Why blame the West for global warming whereas we ourselves did not do our bit in curbing the impending disaster? Therefore, Nyanganji's stance remains purely sentimental and devoid of real substance.

My two cents.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2007, 05:27:18 PM by lionger »

Offline lionger

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Re: Shrinking Lake Chad
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2007, 05:23:58 PM »
Hey admin,

Is there a way of increasing the image size? Excuse my ignorance  ???

NewEte

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Re: Shrinking Lake Chad
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2007, 06:15:15 PM »
Lionger, talking of environmental pollution, do we really have any moral standing in accusing others?
I mean I was in Nigeria just last year (lagos in particular) and believe me, for the first hour or so, it was difficult to breath. It was even worse leaving the airport and travelling south bound towards Suru-Lere via ikorodu road/western Avenue.  Almost every vehicle on the road emits very thick dark smoke. The bigger commercial buses (Molue) and eighteen wheelers are worse. This happens 24/7 365 days a year. Can you imagine the health risk this posses? You can't be too surprised when you inquire about someone, and the response you get is......"Ah He/she died mysteriously last year". or "Ah evil people with their devilish charms killed him/her". Most of those deaths are medical but related to different factors amongst which are environmental hazards.

Lionger, have you ever passed through Iddo heading to Lagos Island metropolis? That Iddo market/motor park area is perhaps the most stinking community on earth. There is lagoon right there, and at any given time, you'll find some of Alkani's folks squating on the darn bridge and popping into the lagoon. That practices has been going on for decades. There is so much crap in that lagoon to the point that the marine life is totally extinct. That lagoon contains so much human feaces to the point that the entire community stinks dangerously. But guess what, there is an open market right there where meat, fish, and other fresh produce are sold.

Should this worry people? Is there an health risk here?

Offline Dan-Borno

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Re: Shrinking Lake Chad
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2007, 06:37:07 PM »
Sannu Malam Ete, you now talk well, forget about global warming by the west, what is our government doing to resusicitate this situation? I come from where we directly benefit from the Lake Chad (Borno). OUr Government is doing nothing to address the issue, infact the issue of lake chad is never a table issue for my government.

Please, lets do something!
"My mama always used to tell me: 'If you can't find somethin' to live for, you best find somethin' to die for" - Tupak

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Re: Shrinking Lake Chad
« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2007, 07:01:48 PM »
Lake Chad fishermen pack up their nets

By Senan Murray
BBC News website, Lake Chad 

Cheating

"Africa is being cheated again by the industrialised West," says Jacob Nyanganji of Nigeria's University of Maiduguri.

"Africa does not produce any significant amount of greenhouse gases, but it's our lakes and rivers that are drying up. America has refused to ratify Kyoto and it is our lakes that are drying up."
Villagers in Nigeria's semi-arid border region with Chad, Niger and Cameroon understand full well the consequences of what is happening.



The Central African Republic's Logone and Chari rivers empty into the lake. But reduced rainfall and damming of the rivers means that only half of the water now gets to the lake.

The Komadougou-Yobe River in far north-eastern Nigeria which also feeds the lake now flows only during the rainy season.



People only see what they wish to see

Offline lionger

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Re: Shrinking Lake Chad
« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2007, 07:16:44 PM »
Ete, I haven't been in Lagos for quite a while now, but I remember that it was a very, very dirty and filthy place. Even the good places like Victoria Island are now a sad sight. As per pollution, this is the malady that most developing countries face. However,we have done nothing about it so as you say we really don't have the right to criticise others. The GIWA report I mentioned before warned that environmental pollution was going to have a more significant effect in the future, so we better get our act together soon.

Offline lionger

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Re: Shrinking Lake Chad
« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2007, 04:38:50 PM »

Click link below for larger image
http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Newsroom/NewImages/Images/landsat_chad.jpg

Here's another image from NASA showing Lake Chad's decline over the years. Notice that the 1973-87 time period saw the biggest decrease in lake size.

Offline Dan-Borno

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Re: Shrinking Lake Chad
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2007, 05:03:16 PM »
My senior, i have seen the pix, but i dont understand anything there, can you please explain to me.  Sorry dont mind me, i have never studied geography
"My mama always used to tell me: 'If you can't find somethin' to live for, you best find somethin' to die for" - Tupak

Offline HUSNAA

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Re: Shrinking Lake Chad
« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2007, 06:10:45 PM »
My senior, i have seen the pix, but i dont understand anything there, can you please explain to me.  Sorry dont mind me, i have never studied geography

Ce.. an u from borno all the way from the land of lake chad??? lol.  I will give u a little 'KNOW YR LAKE CHAD' briefing.
You are looking down on the lake from a bird's eye view of it. The cup like part of the lake represents the southern part of it, and the elongated end is the northern part of the lake. Because there is so little water, it is very swampy with lots of reed islands that is why u have the overall green color. The dark blue in the middle  of the cupshape is the region of permanently open water, where the Chari enters the lake. The  thin diagonal strip on the bottom right hand side of the largest pic is the Chari river as it enters the lake. The dark blue at the top left side of the pic is residual moisture/water from the annual flooding of the lake.
The first little picture on the left is how the lake was in 1973. The dark blueish area represents the extent of water at the time, almost the whole lake basin. The middle little picture is the lake some 14 yrs later. The northern end of the lake had completely dried out by then, even the vegetation was scarce as u can see from its absence in the northern part of the basin. Only the southern end had any water and that was because of being fed by the Chari, whose volumes had fallen so that there wasnt sufficient in coming water to cause the annual circulation. There were other factors as well, but we wont go into those. By 1997, a shift in rainfall patterns at source (the central African republic) improved the drainage system of the Chari therefore the volume of water entering  the lake rose as well so that water was able to move towards the northern part of the lake and therefore replenish some parts and give rise to the swampy conditions again. The vegetation in the smaller pics is shown as red bcos the pics were acquired in the visible to near infra red region of the electromagnetic spectrum. The larger pic is a true color image however.
The Nigerian part of the lake is the part extending from just before the point where the Komadugu Yobe river enters the lake (that is at the top left hand side of the big pic)coming down to where the cup shape indents inwards, slightly (that is where the town of Baga Kukawa local govt is)and comes downwards (bottom centre of the large pic) and goes upwards slightly some miles inwards,and then we are in Cameroon. The other side of the cup shape of the lake is in the Lac Prefecture in Chad the country.
Ghafurallahi lana wa lakum

Offline Dan-Borno

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Re: Shrinking Lake Chad
« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2007, 06:31:54 PM »
Aunty Husna kenan, jack of all, thank you very much, it is now that i can see the picture with idon basira, but before it looks as if it is child's colouring.  Thank you.
"My mama always used to tell me: 'If you can't find somethin' to live for, you best find somethin' to die for" - Tupak

 


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