Lake Chad is a large African lake located on the borders of Chad, Niger, Nigeria, and Cameroon. It is estimated that in its greatest glory, about 7,000 years ago, it covered an area of 1,000,000 km2. At present, it covers an area of 1,350 km2 and only between 1963 and 1998 its area decreased by 95 %. What is the cause of such a dramatic decline?
Lake Chad is the heart of a life-giving area that provides livelihood for more than 30,000,000 people in the countries to which it belongs. However, high water consumption for livestock and irrigation puts locals in a predicament, especially fishermen, but also numerous animal species.
As the lake is relatively shallow, a large part is made up of swamps, which are often flooded with water. We know that the lake has also changed in size over the centuries. However, the decline has never been as dramatic as it is today. Thus, it can be suspected that the area of the lake is affected by human activity. As with Aral Sea, ineffective irrigation, which causes the loss of large amounts of water before it reaches its destination, is to blame. Another part of the blame lies with excessive cattle breeding and inefficient use of dams.
It is also worth mentioning a recent study that partially blamed air pollution in Europe, which is causing rainfall to shift south, causing the Sahara to spread towards the lake. Subsequent regulation of certain pollutants in Europe may be the reason for the water level in the lake to improve in recent years.