Europe urged to help save shrinking African lake
The shrinking of a lake in Africa has been linked with increasing migration, violence and even terrorism.
Scientists say changing weather patterns, along with growing populations and the construction of dams, are to blame for the shrinking of Lake Chad, which provides livelihoods for about 30 million people in surrounding countries.
“If Lake Chad dries up, there are about 30 million people who will be obliged to emigrate to Europe,” Libyan president Muammar Gaddafi said at an international conference in N’Djamena, Chad.
“The worst case scenario is that we will confront them in the middle of the (Mediterranean) sea,” he said. “If Europe does not want these 30 million people who live around Lake Chad to emigrate … Europe has to save the lake.”
He said that its imperative to share information through social networking because of the popularity of such media.
Gaddafi has said in the past that Libya is helping the European Union shoulder the burden of illegal immigration from Africa by intercepting boats carrying migrants across the Mediterranean Sea.
Gaddafi, who has been an outspoken critic of the developed world’s policies towards Africa, also said poverty in the region was driving local people to join Islamist militant groups that target Western interests.
Security experts say al Qaeda’s north Africa wing — which regularly kidnaps Westerners — recruits desperately poor tribesmen by offering them food and money, especially in Niger, which has been hit by drought and famine.
“People are joining in with terrorist acts because they are in need and they are poor,” said Gaddafi. “If there are (development) projects they will stay in their homes and they will have hope.”