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African Water Facility Approves €500,000 for the Preparation of an Investment Plan to Support Climate Resilient Socio-Economic Growth in the Lake Chad Basin

15 December 2023

The African Water Facility has approved a grant of €500,000 to support the preparation of a five-year investment plan under the Investment Planning for Climate Resilient Socio-Economic Growth in the Lake Chad Basin (PIBALT) project, which aims to catalyse the efficient, sustainable, and equitable use of natural resources in the Lake Chad basin.

An estimated 2 million people depend on Lake Chad as a source of livelihoods and the larger basin contributes to food security for about 45 million people. However, population growth has increased demand for the lake’s natural resources and climate change has contributed to variability in resource supply. Lack of economic diversification and inadequate support to socio-economic systems, including the lack of sustainable alternative employment opportunities for young people, has also led to increased migration, crime, and associated tensions in the region, thereby enhancing the vulnerability of the basin’s population.

These challenges result in an urgent need to conserve the ecosystems and revitalize the natural resources of the lake which is one of the largest wetlands in Africa, mobilize greater resources to combat desertification and erosion, and fill knowledge gaps through increased investment in data collection for effective basin management and development.

“The Lake Chad basin is an important transboundary water system serving the four countries of Nigeria, Cameroon, Niger and Chad, which border the lake. The grant from the Facility will help to improve the economy of the basin and the livelihoods of the people who depend on the lake for domestic purposes, agricultural use, and survival,” says Mtchera Chirwa, coordinator, African Water Facility.

The PIBALT project will assess the impact of a previous five-year Investment Plan (2013 – 2017) on the Lake Chad basin resources and population and support the development of the new five-year Investment Plan to rebuild the economy of the basin.

The new plan will provide capacity building and strengthen the institutional role of the Lake Chad Basin Commission. It will also provide environmental stewardship through equitable development among member states. Potential investors will be engaged from the start of the project through an investment information session and an investment forum. Project resources will also help to strengthen the capacity of other relevant stakeholders to develop and manage water resources in the basin.

The millions of people along the shores of Lake Chad and in the hydrographic basin, will benefit from improved livelihoods and economic development.

The PIBALT project aligns with “feed Africa” and “improve the quality of life for the people of Africa” under the African Development Bank’s High-5s. It supports the Bank’s strategy for Addressing Fragility and Building Resilience in Africa along with three of the four guiding principles of the Bank’s Policy on Water.

The project will be implemented over a 15-month period, starting in 2024. The Lake Chad Basin Commission will co-finance the project through the contribution of €122,262, 20% of the total project cost.