Supporting Grassroots Environmental Organizations in the Lake Chad Basin

Supporting grassroots environmental organizations in the lake chad basin

Project Background

Lake Chad provides for the livelihoods of many local communities in the Lake Chad Basin region, which includes seven nations, four of which border the current extent of Lake Chad itself. Due to climate induced desertification and downward expansion of the Sahel, Lake Chad has already lost over 90% of its water volume. Scarce water availability has resulted in increasing conflict in the region, one of the most well recognized sources of climate induced conflict globally. 

Concerningly, fossil fuel resources have also been discovered in the Lake Chad basin; the possibility of their exploitation creates additional risks for agricultural communities across multiple neighboring countries. Despite the well-known heightened risk for surrounding communities, and the broader social impacts these risks pose to both the region and the global community, limited climate funding is available to address them. Even less of this funding is directed toward effective, locally led grassroots organizations who are working to mitigate future risks and adapt to impacts that have already occurred.
Water volume of Lake Chad (before and after).

This research project seeks to address this inequity through a comprehensive report targeting funding organizations in environmental justice and peacebuilding spaces.

Project Goals

This project seeks to develop a comprehensive report targeted toward grantmaking organizations in the climate justice space. 

The report will provide background context and recommendations on how to most strategically support locally led climate mitigation and adaptation work in areas with high risk of compounded social risks from climate impacts.

The report will specifically highlight root causes of vulnerability, local climate adaptation mechanism, indigenous knowledge, comparative geographic risk, and successes of community-based organizations in the Lake Chad basin region.

The project outcome would be disseminated in form of a report with detailed recommendations on how to most strategically support locally led climate mitigation and adaptation work in areas with high risk of compounded social risks from climate impacts in the region.

Phase One

Qualitative Research

Qualitative research will be conducted to highlight the compounded social risk from climate change, local community adaptation mechanisms to climate change, root causes of vulnerability, and successes of community-based organizations in tackling climate issues on vulnerable populations in the Lake Chad basin region

Quantitative Research

Quantitative Research: Additional quantitative research may include policy analysis using system dynamics modeling to determine most effective levers for risk reduction in the region. 

Key Questions

We seek to answer the following:

Broadly, what are strategies for supporting climate change mitigation and adaptation work in the region that center climate justice and equity considerations, while centering and building on indigenous adaptation strategies?

How do climate impacts and related compounding risk factors in the Lake Chad basin compare to the risk in other locations, in terms of their human impacts?

What are the underlying drivers for climate and social vulnerabilities occurring in the region? (For example, oil exploitation, regulatory issues, etc.)

How are these issues impacting areas beyond the region itself? For example, are they driving migration? Broader conflict?

Which community-led, grassroots organizations are working successfully to address these issues?

What are the needs of these organizations, and how can funders and partners best connect with them to support their ongoing work?

Project Team

Project Mentor

Dr. Oshienemen (Oshie) Albert

Director, Research and Program Development


Technical Support

Amber Houghstow

General Coordinator


Research Fellow

Balkissa Diallo

Research Fellow