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Cameroonian Firm Steps Up to Save Dying Lake Chad Through Architecture

Previously Africa’s largest water body in the Sahel region, Lake Chad has lost its glory and is facing extinction since 1963 when its size shrunk from 26,000 square kilometres to 1,350 square kilometres by 2001.

It lost about 95% of its size to inefficient damming and irrigation methods thereby affecting the over 30 million people in Chad, Cameroon, Niger, and Nigeria who depend on the water body as their major source of water.

Cameroon-based architecture firm Hermann Kamte & Associates (HKA) has come up with an idea to use architecture to revive the shrinking lake back to its glory. They have designed a state-of-the-art desalination and research center called The Forgotten – Dead or Alive.

According to environment news site inhabitat.com, the center was designed by HKA to have an amphibian-like form to blend in with the lake surroundings. It will also connect the lake to the Atlantic Ocean via pipelines, which would transport water from the ocean.

The desalination center would treat the salt water which will be reused as fresh water to help restore the lake, reports inhabitat.com. It adds that the pipelines and lake research would take place between 2016 and 2026.

HKA published images of the design which looks like an ultra-modern football stadium on water. It says in 2020 trees and vegetation will be planted around the lake; and in 2080, the pipelines will transporting water from the ocean will be shut.

urrently, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) are sensitizing the 9 million people close to the lake over their activities that is affecting the water body.

LCBC is a regional body that regulates the use of the basin’s water and other natural resources. They maintain that inefficient damming and irrigation methods by countries bordering the lake are partly responsible for its shrinkage.

Below are some of the designs by HKA.

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