China backs Italy in scheme to save Lake Chad! (Italy, China ponder 2,400km canal to save Lake Chad)

China backs Italy in scheme to save Lake Chad!

UPDATED BELOW (March 10; 4.47pm) : The attempt to replenish Lake Chad’s water may fail again. 

KUALA LUMPUR (March 2018): China has extended its Belt Road Initiative (BRI) coverage extensively into Africa, and to work with Italy.

Italy has offered to donate €1.6 million to a feasibility study into digging a 2,400km-long canal to channel water from the River Congo in central Africa to the much depleted Lake Chad in the Sahara.

China , expressing interest to participate in the scheme, has offered to match Italy’s funding.

And what has the war-waging US been saying about China? Be wary of China’s investments and loans in Africa!

To the US, I Love Malaysia-China Silk Road has this to say: Put your money where your mouth is!

And we truly believe that with China’s efficiency and technology, the effort can be realised and bring about enahanced trans border trade, economics and business.

Here’s the news report that contains the details of the scheme to revive or save Lake Chad:

Lake Chad seen from above (Creative Commons) - GCR

Italy, China ponder 2,400km canal to save Lake Chad

2 March 2018 | By GCR Staff

Italy has offered to donate €1.6m to a feasibility study into digging a 2,400-km-long canal that would channel water from the River Congo in central Africa to the much depleted Lake Chad in the Sahara.

The canal would be a navigable waterway 100m wide and 10m deep capable of carrying about 50 billion cubic metres of water a year. One idea is for a road and railway to run alongside it.

The offer was made this week by Italian Ambassador Stefano Pontesilli to the Lake Chad Basin Committee during the International Conference on Lake Chad held in the Nigerian capital Abuja.

Satellite maps show how fast Lake Chad waters have receded over the past decades. Maps by NASA via People’s Daily)

China is also interested in participating in the scheme, and has offered to match Italy’s funding.

Some 30 million people depend on the water from Lake Chad, located at the junction of four countries, Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon. The lake shrunk from 20,000 sq km in the 1960s to just 2,000 in 2002, although it has recently increased slightly in size.

The study into the “Transaqua” project would be carried out by Italian engineer Bonifica and PowerChina. The two companies signed an agreement to cooperate on the scheme in Hangzhou last year.

A map showing the route of the canal (Schiller Institute)

Transaqua was originally suggested by Bonifica in the late 1970s, and was also championed by Nigerian engineers in the 1990s.

One version of the plan would involve damming a tributary of the River Congo in the Central African Republic and digging a 2,400-km-long canal to the River Chari, which feeds Lake Chad.

A talk on the project given by Persio Boccetto, a director of Bonifaca, to the Schiller Institute can be seen here "

The attempt to replenish Lake Chad’s water may fail again. Here’s whyOctober 6, 2017 1.51am AEDT
Adegboyega Adeniran

PhD Candidate, Fenner School of Environment and Society, Australian National University
Katherine Daniell

Senior Lecturer, Fenner School of Environment and Society, Australian National University
Disclosure statement
Adegboyega Adeniran receives funding from an ANU PhD Research Grant.
Katherine Daniell receives funding from the European Commission. She is a member of the National Committee of Water Engineering (Engineers Australia), a member of the Initiatives of the Future of Great Rivers, A Fellow of the Peter Cullen Water and Environment Trust, and President of the Australian-French Association for Research and Innovation.

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Presidents Issoufou, Yayi, Deby and Buhari at a meeting of the Lake Chad Basin Commission, the body in charge of the lake replenishment project REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde

The Transaqua Project is a big, ambitious initiative to replenish the waters of Lake Chad, a fresh water inland lake in Central Africa. It involves 12 countries working together to build a 2 400 km canal to move about 100 billion cubic metres of water from the River Congo to the lake every year. The Lake Chad basin supports more than 20 million people. If accomplished, the Transaqua Project will change the face of Africa – for better or for worse. But like other regional or transnational projects on the continent, it may be delayed or abandoned if national politics are ignored. The replenishment project, mooted over 30 years ago, involves building several dams along the length of the canal. The dams will potentially generate 15 to 25 thousand million KWh of hydroelectricity and irrigate 50 000 to 70 000 km2 of land in the Sahel zone. This will stimulate development in agriculture, industry, transport and electricity for up to 12 African countries. But the project is not immune from criticism. Some argue that claims that the lake is shrinking are exaggerated. Others argue that the plan poses serious environmental risks. It is difficult to determine whether the canal will address why the lake is drying up. And who benefits, and what the benefits will be to each country still remain unknown. It’s also possible that disagreement within and between countries could scuttle the project. A memorandum of understanding for a feasibility study and the construction of the project was signed in December 2016 by the Lake Chad Basin Commission and PowerChina, the Chinese state engineering and construction firm ... for more, go to (10 Craziest Engineering Projects in China)
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