From: Alhassane Abdou, SciDevNet, More from this Affiliate
Published February 22, 2012 04:10 PM

Fishermen adapt to Lake Chad's demise — for now

Former fishermen around Africa's shrinking Lake Chad have adapted to their changing surroundings by taking up farming. But a recent study indicates this may not be sustainable if high water levels do not return. Lake Chad, bordered by Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria, has a maximum depth of only 11 meters and has shrunk considerably in the last 40 years, largely because of a decrease in rainfall in its southern basin.


A study by researchers from France and Niger, published in the journal Regional Environmental Change, undertook soil, hydrological and groundwater surveys. The scientists also conducted interviews with farmers as well as members of local administrations and projects to find out how the Mober people of eastern Niger have adapted to this significant environmental change.

They found that the rich soil reclaimed from the shrinking lake has enabled the Mober people to grow crops such as cowpea, maize, rice and green peppers without using fertilizers or irrigation.

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Photo: NASA

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