Lake Chad (Africa)

Lake Chad . Its origin is believed to correspond to the remains of an ancient inland sea, which was estimated to cover an area of ​​400,000 km² 6,000 years ago. When it was discovered by Europeans in 1823 it was one of the largest lakes in the world, but it has shrunk considerably since then. The increasing demand for lake water has accelerated its degeneration in the last forty years.


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  • 1 Geographical situation
  • 2 Water Tribute
  • 3 Possible disappearance
  • 4 Sources

Geographic situation

Located on the border between Chad , Niger , Nigeria and Cameroon , in Africa. The lake, in Niger, is located in the east of the nation, in the Beri-Beri region. In Nigeria it is located in the northeast of the country, in the state whose capital is Maiduguri.

In Chad it is located near the capital N’Djamena. The lake takes its name from this country since it is this country in which most of the lake is located, and in which the lake is located in a more significant place. In Cameroon, the lake is located in the extreme north of the country, in a fairly remote area. Its economic importance is vital, since it provides water to more than 20 million inhabitants.

Water tribute

Its largest tributary is the Chari River , which supplies 90% of its waters. There are numerous islands and silt banks, and swampy areas abound on their shores. Because of its shallow depth, only 7 meters at its deepest point, the area is particularly sensitive to changes in mean depth, showing fluctuations in size depending on the time of year. Apparently the waters have no outlet, although their waters infiltrated into the depressions of Soro and Bodele .

In the 1960s the area covered by its waters was 26,000 km², an extension similar to the surface of the island of Sicily, which made it the fourth largest lake in Africa . In 2000 its extension had been reduced to less than 1,500 km², and in 2006 it was only 900 km²; The causes are the reduction of rainfall together with the increase in the extraction of water for irrigation and other uses, both from the lake itself and from the tributary rivers. Forecasts indicate that the lake will continue to shrink and even end up drying out throughout the 21st century.

Possible disappearance

Lake Chad, in the central African region, could disappear in 20 years, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warned today.

Climate change and demographic pressure have reduced that water surface by 90 percent. Of 25,000 square kilometers it had in 1963 , it had less than 1,500 in 2001 .

FAO stressed that urgent action must be taken before a humanitarian disaster strikes. He indicated that the livelihood of 30 million people depends on the waters of the lake, which is surrounded by Chad, Cameroon, Niger and Nigeria.


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