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Green Vegetation Around Lake Chad at the Edge of the Sahara Desert, Chad

13.3N 14.1E

April 8th, 2010 Category: Lakes, Rivers

Chad - March 5th, 2010

Chad - March 5th, 2010

Lake Chad (in French Lac Tchad) is a historically large, shallow lake in Africa, whose size has varied over the centuries. According to the UN it shrank as much as by 95 percent since 1963.

Lake Chad is economically very important, providing water to more than 20 million people living in the four countries that surround it (Chad, Cameroon, Niger, and Nigeria) on the edge of the Sahara Desert.

Lake Chad is located mainly in the far west of Chad, bordering on northeastern Nigeria. The Chari River, fed by its tributary the Logone provides over 90 percent of Lake Chad’s water, with a small amount coming from the Yobe River in Niger and Nigeria. Despite high levels of evaporation the lake is still freshwater.

Over half of the lake’s area is taken up by its many small islands, reedbeds and mudbanks, and a belt of swampland across the middle divides the northern and southern halves while the shorelines are largely composed of marshes.

Because Lake Chad is very shallow—only 10.5 metres (34 ft) at its deepest—its area is particularly sensitive to small changes in average depth, and consequently it also shows seasonal fluctuations in size of about 1m every year. Lake Chad has no apparent outlet, but its waters percolate into the Soro and Bodélé depressions. The climate is dry most of the year round with occasional rains from June to October.

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