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My Quest to Find Lasting Solution to the Lake Chad Crisis

 My Quest to Find Lasting Solution to the Lake Chad Crisis

                        Photo credit: Earth Resource Observation and Science

The international conference on Lake Chad was held from the 23rd to the 24th in Niamey, Niger. What made the conference different from others is the fact that it was held in the region that is one of the most affected by the shrinking Lake Chad aside from the first two summits that were held in Oslo and Berlin respectively. It is disheartening that the region continues to be affected by the decade-long violence. According to the UN report, the Lake Chad crisis has worsened due to different shocks since the Berlin conference. Perhaps, this should not be a bi-annual or even yearly conference because the climate crisis in this region has outgrown resilience towards paying close and continuing attention to it. I suggest there should be a quarterly conference to keep showing solidarity on the next step to take. The most important solution is to revive Lake Chad. It will be a great injustice if ecosystems like that of Lake Chad and the great green wall are not restored because this is a decade of ecosystem restoration hence, no ecosystem should be left behind. We cannot afford another decade of violence else we will have to and climate change feeds insecurity which in turn has a toll on human well-being.

At the just conducted summit, there are more commitments to humanitarian assistance which is good but it is not enough to overcome the current reality of climate change in the region and not to talk about dealing with the existential threats. Of course, we have to think beyond aid to start investing in providing long and lasting solutions that will give no room for humanitarian crises one such is strengthening livelihoods and facilitating an agreement for inter-basin water transfer that could help to revive the lake and help improve the socio-economic activities that have been crippled by shrinking effect of the Lake Chad. As of 2017, just the humanitarian response plan for Nigeria alone cost $1.054 billion, not to talk about the entire region that has also been deeply affected by the violence and environmental disaster. Putting climate action at the center of climate change-related issues is crucial.

This is why I am finding a solution-based approach to ending violence and strengthening democracy in the region as a fellow of the Panel on Planetary Thinking at Justus Liebig University, Giessen using remote sensing technologies such as Earth observation (EO) satellites to examine Lake Chad as a severely threatened planetary space from the distance. Also, develop concrete strategies for tackling the complex, climate change-related crisis and enabling a peaceful transition and resolution of the diverse conflicts connected to it. Since the livelihoods of the population hinge most intrinsically on the availability of water from Lake Chad, the drastic decrease in water supply causes multi-layered problems in the region. We should all know that no amount of humanitarian aid will be enough if we revive Lake Chad which millions of people depend on for their livelihoods.

Oladosu Adenike Titilope ( is the founder of I Lead Climate Action Initiative, she specializes in peace, security, and equality in Africa, especially the Lake Chad basin. A climate justice leader and an ecofeminist.

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