Buhari suspends FEC meeting for Lake Chad Basin congress

by on February 26, 2018

The weekly Federal Executive Council, FEC, which holds on Wednesdays will not be holding this week.

In a statement by Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, he said the cancellation of the meeting is due to the participation of President Muhammadu Buhari, and a significant number of ministers at the High-Level Meeting of the International Conference on Lake Chad Basin.

The meeting is expected to hold on Wednesday, February 28, 2018, at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja.

The two-day conference, organised by the government in Abuja and the Lake Chad Basin Commission, aims to “save the lake from extinction”, according to UNESCO, which is backing the talks.

A $6.5-million (5.3-million-euro) research and conservation programme will involve Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria, whose borders meet on the lake, as well as the Central African Republic.

Troops from Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria are fighting a battle against Boko Haram jihadists in the remote region.

Lake Chad is the principal source of freshwater for 40 million people.

But climate change and water mismanagement have contributed to a staggering 90 per cent decline of the lake’s surface over the past 40 years.

As it dries up and hunger rises, the region has become fragile and Boko Haram jihadists have targeted subsistence farmers and fishermen to fill their ranks.

The ongoing Islamist insurgency has forced tens of thousands of people to cross borders in search of food and safety.

The UN estimates that more than two million people have been uprooted from their homes and 10.7 million are in need of food handouts to survive.

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