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Chad is part of:
Africa · Middle Africa ·
Water Basins of Chad:
Lake Chad · Niger Basin ·
Facts & Figures edit
Capital N'Djamena
Neighbouring Countries Cameroon, Central African Republic, Libya, Niger, Nigeria, Sudan
Total Area 1,284,000 km2
  - Water 24,800 km2 (1.93%) / 193 m2/ha
  - Land 1,259,200 km2
Coastline 0 km
Population 9,748,931 (7.6 inhab./km2)
HDIA 0.389 (2007)
Gini CoefficientA n/a (1995)
Nominal GDPB $9,106 million
GDP (PPP) Per CapitaB $1,600
Land UseC
  - Cultivated Land 35,510 km2 (2.82%)
     - Arable 35,258 km2 (2.8%)
     - Permanent Crops 252 km2 (0.02%)
     - Irrigated 300 km2
  - Non cultivated 40,612 km2 (97.18%)
Average Annual RainfallD 322 mm
Renewable Water ResourcesE 43 km3
Water WithdrawalsF 0.23 km3/yr
  - For Agricultural Use 83%
  - For Domestic Use 17%
  - For Industrial Use 0%
  - Per Capita 28 m3
Population with safe access to
  - Improved Water Source 42%
     - Urban population 41%
     - Rural population 43%
  - Improved Sanitation 9%
     - Urban population 24%
     - Rural population 4%
References & Remarks
A UNDP Human Development Report
B CIA World Factbook and Wikipedia
C CIA World Factbook Country Profiles
D Aquastat - FAO's Information System on Water and Agriculture
E CIA World Factbook
F Earthtrends

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Country Profile: Climate, Geography, Socio-Economic Context

Country Profile: Water Bodies and Resources

Chad has significant permanent and semi-permanent waterways, groundwater, and surface water. Lake Chad, located at the western corner of the country and shared by Cameroon, is a large shallow water body fed by the Chari River. A drier climate and the use of substantial volumes of the lake’s water for irrigation projects have caused it to shrink: the lake’s surface area was about 25,000 square kilometers in the 1960s and reached into Niger and Nigeria; it is currently about one-twentieth that size.

Almost three-quarters of Chad has sedimentary basins with several layers of groundwater. The volume of subterranean water ranges between 263 and 455 billion cubic meters per year, with a replacement volume of 20.6 billion cubic meters. Experts believe that Chad, unlike other Sahelian countries, has sufficient groundwater to increase agricultural production substantially, and the ability to weather droughts. Only 7000 hectares of farmland in Chad is irrigated, and Chad has sufficient water resources to irrigate roughly 5.6 million hectares of land. The government estimates that with appropriate infrastructure and support, one-third of Chad’s land area (39 million hectares) could be used to grow crops.

Chad’s main irrigation areas are located in the Soudan region and were created between 1950 and 1974. The irrigation system faces technical challenges in areas of water-management, and maintenance of irrigation facilities, dams, and dykes is insufficient. Some of the protective dykes have deteriorated, leaving villages vulnerable to uncontrolled floodwaters.

In Chad’s urban areas, the vast majority of the residents (90% in some cities) live in informal settlements. Most of the informal settlements lack clean water and sewage facilities, and diseases such as cholera, typhoid, and meningitis are chronic. Access to safe drinking water is improving, however: between 1990 and 2008, the percentage of Chad’s population improved from 38% to about 50%.

Country Profile: Legal and Institutional Environment

Legal Framework

The Water Code of 1999 sets out the management of water resources and water access for stock-breeding, agriculture, and human consumption. Under the Water Code, all naturally-occurring surface and subsurface water is considered to be in the public domain. Water rights are generally included in and transferred along with land rights.

Under Islamic and customary law, all people have rights of access to water sources. Use-rights to water depend on the source: private parties and first clearers of land have rights to the water source on the land and may construct wells on their property. Islamic law allows the inheritance of rights to water sources such as springs, but water rights cannot be loaned, rented, or sold. The children of the first wife of a spring-owner obtain ownership rights; the children of other wives have only use-rights.

Tenure Issues

Under formal law (including Islamic law) and customary law, rivers and lakes are open-access resources. The Water Code provides that the state may restrict access to and use of public water resources as necessary to preserve and protect the resource and the rights of all users. Users of public water resources are obliged to use the water efficiently and economically, protect the environment, and avoid interfering with the rights of others.

Landholders have the right to use rainwater falling on their land, and the right to access groundwater. Application must be made to local authorities to change the course of a natural stream or river, and those with upstream access to river water are prohibited from interfering with downstream rights.

Under formal and customary law, ownership of land includes use and control of any developed water resources. However, anyone establishing a well must allow others access, including to water livestock. Well-owners may charge a fee for such access and may limit livestock use to two or three days.

Institutional Framework

The Ministry of Water (formerly the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources) is responsible for developing and implementing national environmental and water policy. The Ministry of Agriculture is responsible for the irrigation system, and the Department of Rural Engineering and Irrigation is responsible for the design, coordination, and implementation of irrigation policy. Local traditional leaders are largely responsible for ensuring that water resources are used according to customary and Islamic law, as applicable. Chad is a member of the Lake Chad Basin Commission, which regulates and controls the utilization of water in the basin by member countries (Chad, Cameroon, Niger, Nigeria, Sudan, and the Central African Republic).

The Ministry of Water has lacked financial resources and a sufficient base of technical and environmental knowledge from which to operate. Capacity within the local government and among traditional authorities regarding water management has been low. Inadequate management of resources in the Lake Chad basin has led to conflicts over water-use between upstream and downstream communities.

Government Reforms, Interventions and Investments

In 2003, Chad adopted a Master Plan for Water and Sanitation (2003–2020) following recommendations from the United Nations on the integrated management of water resources and expansion of access to water in urban and rural areas. The Plan presents the government’s policy, strategy and action plan for the water sector, with a goal of achieving plan objectives by 2015. The strategy includes components for potable water, pastoral and agricultural water, water resources and sanitation. The Plan provides an organizational framework for water governance and national capacity-building. In the area of pastoral water, the Plan calls for securing transhumance throughout the country and the rational development of pastoral land.

With a US $56 million loan from the World Bank, the government of Chad undertook the Critical Electricity and Water Services Rehabilitation Project (CEWSRP) (2002–2007), which was designed to provide basic water and electricity in N’Djamena and in 6 to 8 smaller urban centers, and to reduce service costs through increased private sector participation in both sectors. The project included a component designed to improve the technical, commercial, and environmental performance of the Water and Electricity Corporation of Chad (Societe Tchadienne d'Eau et d'Electricite (STEE). No project evaluation documents have been made public to date.

Country Profile: Water Sector Coordination

See Sector coordination sub-page for detailed description

Country Profile: Trends in Water Use, Management and Sanitation

Country Profile: Challenges and Opportunities

Donor Interventions and Investments

USAID’s program for economic growth assistance in Chad has focused on the eastern sector and IDP populations. The agency’s humanitarian assistance has included projects concerning access to water and the provision of safe water.

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)’s US $39 million Pastoral Water and Resource Management Project in Sahelian Areas (PROHYPA) is designed to secure transhumance systems by establishing water points and marking transhumance corridors in the central and western parts of Chad. The project will promote and support organizations that plan and manage water points and transhumance corridors. The project will improve capacity to handle water-management disputes, including use of traditional authorities and local conventions that bring stakeholders together to form natural resource management plans. Water needs for household use will be covered by the pastoral water project and by village water-supply partnerships with the European Union (EU), the French Development Agency (AFD) and the African Development Bank (AfDB).

The Global Environmental Facility (GEF) began implementation of a World Bank-funded US $70 million Integrated Ecosystem Management project (2005–2009) through Chad’s Ministry of Water and the Environment. The project included a bottom-up plan for implementation of the country’s National Environmental Action Plan, which includes addressing weaknesses in the legal framework governing natural resources management, including water. The program section with GEF resources includes capacity building within the Ministry of Environment and Water. The program was suspended in 2008.


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Projects and Case Studies

Projects in or about Chad

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Case studies in or about Chad

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5 most recently updated publications on Chad

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Who is Who

People working in Chad

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Organizations working in Chad
  1. Niger Basin Authority ‎(3,453 views) . . WikiBot

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See also

External Resources


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