LAKE CHAD IS A shallow freshwater lake located in west-central Africa.
Only 23 ft (7 m) at its deepest, it is 820 ft (250 m) above sea level, and was once larger than the state of VERMONT.
In the 1960s, Lake Chad was approximately the size of lake ERIE, one of the Great Lakes located in the Midwest region of the UNITED STATES.
In the past 40 years, however, Lake Chad has shrunk to less than the size of RHODE ISLAND.
Reasons are twofold: a drier climate, with less water replenishment by monsoons; and water siphoned off for agricultural irrigation purposes has quadrupled to provide for the 20 million people living in the four countries (Chad primarily, but also CAMEROON, NIGER, and NIGERIA) that include Lake Chad in their borders.
To illustrate the lake's reduction: Its surface area measured 10,000 square mi (25,000 square km) in 1963 but had shrunk to 839 square mi (1,350 square km) by 2001, causing the lake to become one-twentieth of its original size.
The most significant decrease occurred between 1973 and 1987.
Still, Lake Chad is the fourth-largest lake in Africa, with only Lakes VICTORIA, TANGANIKA, and MALAWI superior in size.
It is a central point of the region for many reasons, including the important archaeological discoveries found nearby.
This region contains some of the earliest evidence of hominids; the area has been occupied, nonstop, since perhaps 500 B.C.E.
Other pivotal roles of the lake and its perimeter include the area's prominence in the region's trade, the massive irrigation projects that rely upon its waters, and the flora and fauna that grow-and the wildlife that live-nearby.
Fish quantities, however, are significantly decreasing, a concern since fish provide a source of protein for the population.
Because of the decrease in fish, along with other signals of environmental distress, the lake and surrounding basins have been declared a "disaster zone." A research paper exploring the devastation, "Human and Natural Impacts on the Water Resources of the Lake Chad Basin," appeared in the American Geophysical Union's Journal of Geophysical Research in 2001.
Britain's Department for International Development in Nigeria, however, offers a more optimistic outlook.
According to their experts, the shrinkage of Lake Chad has created more farmland, land that is fed by the lake when its boundaries expand during rainy weather.
Leftover fish manure fertilizes this farmland, adding to fertility, and this combination allows farmers to survive three-month drier periods.
Significant famines have not occurred in this region, and people living by the lake are effectively fed by agriculture.
- The first spa for children will appear in Andorra
"The Caldea Innu center will build the first spa center for children. The investment for this unusual project will reach 650, 000 euro.
It is expected that the spa center for children, occupying about 400 sq m will be able to invite its first clients in summer 2016. The center will serve only the clients between 3 and 8 years of age. The main goal of the thermal resort is the family tourism development.
The first spa center in the world will include a resting area as well as the procedure area and water games section. "
- Is it possible to go on vacation to Turkey following the shocks
"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs denies the information that recently emerged saying that the Ministry is planning to ban Russians to enter the country.
There were two explosions that took place in Ankara during the meeting for peace between the Turkish authorities and Kurdistan Workers Party. The terrorist attack claimed the lives of 95 people and 250 people got injured.
Following the attack national media channels have reported that the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs started elaborating recommendations for the Russians not to visit the country which has experienced the terror attacks.
However, on Sunday the rumors were denied by the media saying that this information is found to be untrue.
Experts believe that such decision is justified. Terror attacks took place in the Turkish capital, which is seldom visited by Russians or is not visited at all. Our citizens more often spend their holidays at the Mediterranean Sea resorts or in Istanbul, which are far away from Ankara. "