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NDJAMENA (AFP) – Nine countries in Africa‘s drought-affected Sahel region meet in Chad this week to find ways to manage scarce water supplies and protect people against food shortages, an official said Sunday.

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The March 25 summit of the countries in the Permanent Interstate Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel will focus on setting up a global coalition on managing water, the Chad official told AFP on condition of anonymity

The coalition, agreed on in 2004, is intended to harness human and financial resources “to make the control of water a strategic priority of the first importance”, according to committee documents.

The committee groups Burkina FasoCape Verde, Chad, Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Mali, MauritaniaNiger and Senegal, many of which have suffered falls in food production due to erratic rains.

It said in March that food supplies were critically low in Niger and Chad, leaving millions of people vulnerable.


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