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Disappearing Lake Chad harming regional stability: PM

by Staff Writers
N'Djamena (AFP) Oct 29, 2010
The future of rapidly shrinking Lake Chad will have a profound impact on peace and security in central Africa and coordinated action is needed to save it, Chad's prime minister said on Friday.

"Saving Lake Chad requires us all to find a lasting solution not just for the 30 million people who live around it but also regional peace and stability," Emmanuel Nadingar told delegates at the opening of the Africa Session of the 8th World Sustainability Forum.

"If the lake area has decreased from 25,000 square kilometres (9,650 square miles) to 2,500 square kilometres in the past 30 years, what can be done to stop it disappearing within 20 years?" Nadingar said.

A document released at the forum said the area of the lake had decreased by 90 percent since 1960, and could disappear within two decades.

The three-day forum in the Chadian capital brings together scientists, politicians and representatives from civil society to discuss ways for saving the lake.

earlier related report
Lightning kills three as storms sweep Burundi
Bujumbura (AFP) Oct 29, 2010 - Lightning killed three people overnight in the small central African nation of Burundi, where torrential rains also destroyed dozens of homes, officials said Friday.

"Three people were killed by lightning last night as heavy rains pounded the hills of Murambi and Kiganda (southern Burundi), where at least 37 homes were destroyed," local official Gerard Ndikumana told AFP.

He said the latest storms had brought to nine the number of people killed by lightning and to more than 300 the number of houses swept by the downpour in his constituency alone since the rainy season started three weeks ago.

Ndkikumana said emergency assistance -- notably tents, clothes and cooking utensils -- were needed for thousands of people made homeless in his Rumonge district.

Four people were killed by lightning during a church service in Rumonge earlier this month.

More than 20 people have died as a result of storms and rainfall in Burundi since the start of October.

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