In response to a Member of the European Parliament Cristiana Muscardini, the EU Commission has rejected water-transfer projects for the Sahel on the pretext of environmentalist concerns. Thus, by rejecting the only policy that can save Africa, the EU has exposed itself as an enemy of Africa and an enemy of mankind.
On July 17th, Mrs. Muscardini filed the following interrogatory, based on a report published by the EIR Strategic Alert newsletter:
“As a result of drought and war, more than 11 million people in the Sahel are threatened with famine. According to the UN Regional Humanitarian Coordinator, Robert Piper, the fighting in Mali has displaced thousands of people and is having a devastating effect. Because funds have been diverted away by the Syrian crisis, even the UN contribution, in terms of emergency aid, has been falling short of what is needed. The humanitarian crisis is claiming its toll of victims and causing great suffering to the African peoples endeavoring to survive in the Sahel. Their suffering could, however, be alleviated if a way were found to bring water to the region.
“Developed by IRI in 1972, the Transaqua project consists of a 2,400-km canal spanning 5% of the tributaries of the Congo River that would carry between 70 and 100 billion cubic meters of water a year to Lake Chad, enough to restore the lake to its original size: It has shrunk to less than one-twentieth of what it was only 50 years ago. In addition to refilling the lake, Transaqua would halt desertification, create an agricultural development area the size of Lombardy, and generate substantial hydropower production capacity. When they met in N’Djamena in 2010, the countries bordering Lake Chad agreed to implement water transfer on a more modest scale. Colonel Qaddafi, who attended the meeting, offered Libya’s support for the project.
“1. Does the Commission know about the ‘Transaqua’ water transfer project?
“2. Has the scaled-down version of the project got under way, and — assuming that the case applies — how far has the work progressed?
“3. Why has Transaqua not been taken into consideration?
“4. Does the Commission have information about any humanitarian operations carried out by the EU?
“5. If there have been no such operations, can it explain why not?”
On August 16, EU Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs replied:
“The EU is aware of the water-transfer project from the Ubangi River to Lake Chad (Transaqua). Preliminary feasibility studies, however, indicate that the project would involve major environmental risks.” Piebalgs reports that the EU is examining “32 proposals” and part of the EU development funds “could include a contribution to safeguard Lake Chad.”
Reached for a comment, Transaqua author Marcello Vichi remarked that so-called environmentalists have alleged that the Transaqua canal would prevent wild animals from moving freely in the Congo region. “It is as if when in Italy, the North-South motorway was built in the ’50s, they had said: ‘stop it, because it divides the country in two.'” Most outrageous is the fact that so-called environmentalists are always good at “defending nature in someone else’s home,” Mr. Vichi said.
In July, E.I.R. news service reported on the severe drought-caused food crisis in the Sahel, which would have been relieved, for humans and animals alike, by restoring Lake Chad through implementation of the Transaqua project.