Chad has become the first African country to join the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (Water Convention) serviced by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). Chad’s accession to the Water Convention will enter into force on 23 May 2018.
As a land-locked country, Chad depends on its surrounding countries – Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Libya, Niger, Nigeria and Sudan – for its shared water resources. Because water scarcity is a growing probably for the region, effective cooperation between these nations to manage water resources is becoming increasingly important. The Secretary-General António Guterres at the Security Council stressed that, “it is essential that nations cooperate to ensure water is shared equitably and used sustainably”.
The Water Convention was established in 1996 by UNECE to provide framework for improving management of international transboundary surface water and groundwater resources.
Chad has shown its strong commitment to the sustainable management of water by joining forces with the Water Convention. The country is now one of many countries on board to universalizing the Water Convention’s approach to cooperation when it comes to protecting international water resources. The Water Convention looks to protect the quality, quantity, and sustainability of transboundary water by promoting cooperation between the effected nations.
Their dedication to water preservation has already helped bring key stakeholders in Chad together to address their concerns and get their priorities in order to take the next steps to protect their country’s water management. These stakeholders include government, including the Ministry of Environment, Water and Fisheries, the Ministry of Production, Irrigation and Agricultural Equipment and the General Secretariat of the Government, as well as parliament and civil society.
Hopefully, Chad’s new involvement with the Water Convention will prompt other African countries to join themselves, and will help begin conversations across the continent about better ways to preserve and protect their water sources.
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