Who turned the water off?

That is the question many people in Chad, Africa and neighboring countries must be asking themselves. Lake Chad, which once served as an oasis to the countries of Chad, Niger, Nigeria and Cameroon, shrunk in size by over 90 percent between the 1960’ s and today.

More than 40 million impoverished people rely on Lake Chad for their livelihood, and a recent United Nations report states that almost 11 million people in the lake region need humanitarian relief to survive. The shrinking of Lake Chad is not a natural disaster waiting to happen, it is one that has already mostly taken place.

France took control of Chad in 1900, and just a few years later, a French army captain described Lake Chad as an ecological wonder. At the time, the food supply was abundant because of crop irrigation and fishing. The lake also provided drinking water and water for life’s daily necessities.

Today, life in the Lake Chad region is much different. Besides the lack of water that sustained millions, Lake Chad is now where the terrorist group Boko Haram carries out many of its atrocities. The poverty created by the Lake Chad crisis has left many hopeless and drawn them to join the terrorist group. To paraphrase one chief, life has gone from bad to worse.

In February of 2018, a glimmer of hope shined through the darkness. A meeting was convened in Abuja Nigeria to discuss the crisis. There were over 1600 participants and a variety of solutions were proposed. The meeting gave birth to “Transaqua”, a plan to build a 1600-mile canal to transfer water from the Democratic Republic of Congo, to the Chari River which feeds Lake Chad. The cost of the plan is over 50 billion U.S. dollars.

The participants at the meeting will now move forward with environmental and engineering studies. If Transaqua is to become a reality, there will be many challenges to overcome.

For the many impoverished relying on Lake Chad for their livlihood, the hope is that before too long, someone will turn the water on once again.

https://allafrica.com/stories/201803200302.html

https://phys.org/news/2018-02-italy-china-solution-lake-chad.html

https://ourworld.unu.edu/en/sucking-dry-an-african-giant

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/12/04/lake-chad-the-worlds-most-complex-humanitarian-disaster

 

Boko Haram Still Making News

Boko Haram is still causing havoc. Although Chadian forces and joint military forces from neighboring countries have had a great deal of success in pushing back the jihadist group, Boko Haram is still out to kill. Murdering, sending out suicide bombers, and now we hear of mines. Unfortunately, Chadian military were victims to one of these mines in Nigeria. Four died and twenty were injured.

Although it’s always hard to hear of deaths, we are thankful for the successes of the joint forces that have been able to push Boko Haram back into more inaccessible places such as islands of Lake Chad and the forests of Sambisa near the Cameroon/Nigerian border.

Since its inception in 2009, Boko Haram has caused more than 20,000 deaths and displaced 2.6 million people.

More Suicide Bombers

We have received news of another recent attack in Chad’s capital. According to reuters, an international news agency headquartered in England, “A man dressed in a woman’s burqa blew himself up in the main market in Chad’s capital N’Djamena early on Saturday, killing 15 people and injuring 80, a police spokesman said. No group immediately claimed responsibility but Chad has blamed Boko Haram, the Islamist militant group based in neighbouring Nigeria, for a series of bombings and shootings in recent weeks.”
This is a repeat of what happened a month ago. Last time there were two attacks at the police headquarters, and this time it was in the main market. There was also an attack on a village at Lake Chad where Boko Haram killed 6 people. We were very saddened to hear of the attacks last time, yet also relieved that Art had just returned from his trip to Chad a few weeks earlier. As far as we know, our colleagues from other missions still have no plans to evacuate the country, although we know of one stateside who has been told to delay her return to Chad.
We continue to be sickened with what is happening regarding these incidents and others like them in neighboring countries, and ask for your prayers that there would be an end to this violence.

Our Country Made It in the News!

newsWe were quite surprised last week when, looking at headlines on the news, we saw the country of Chad mentioned. Chad! We almost never hear of Chad on the news. Most people probably wonder who this guy Chad is that we keep talking about because they have never heard of the country before.

What many of you probably have heard about is Boko Haram. They are not in Chad, but they have made their presence known in the neighboring countries of Nigeria, Niger and Cameroon. So we were quite interested to find out that Chad has sent soldiers into Cameroon to try and help in holding Boko Haram back in their attacks and kidnappings of civilians. Although it’s going to take a lot of help from a variety of countries, Chad’s involvement seems to have made a difference. Way to go, Chad!

boko haram

The terorist group, boko haram, has been in the news recently for the hundreds of girls that they kidnapped in Nigeria. They have attacked several villages killing people. They have crossed borders into both Cameroon and Chad. They are not where we have been in Chad, but we do have friends who work too close to where they have been seen. You can pray for safety for Chad.