A political-economic analyst for Africa, Lawrence Freeman, has suggested that the most ambitious and visionary inter-basin water project to recharge the Lake Chad is transaqua, proposed over three decades ago.
Transaqua means inter-basin water transfer from the Democratic Republic of Congo as suggested by the report of the first feasibility study conducted on how best to recharge the lake.
The project's design, according to Freeman, includes five to eight per cent of the tributary water to the Congo River Basin through a 2,400-kilometre navigable canal to feed the Chari River in Central African Republic, the major tributary to Lake Chad.
Freeman said the Congo River was the second most powerful in the world, discharging approximately 40,000 cubic metres per second or 1.2 trillion cubic metres annually into the Atlantic Ocean.
He said rather than allowing these huge volumes of water to be simply deposited into the vast ocean, transaqua intended to utilise the super moist Congo River Basin to bring water to the Sahel Desert.
He said the project envisioned creating new levels of trade and commerce between the nations of the two basins, in addition to generating hydro-electric power and bringing irrigation to three million acres of land.
He is of the opinion that if this bold engineering project was taken up decades ago, approximately one eighth of the African continent would look completely different today and millions of needless deaths would have been prevented.