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Chad : A new water code

In Chad, less than one thousandth of the exploitable surface water and less than half of exploitable groundwater are currently used.


In July 1998, Chad started a reform of the public utilities which are responsible for the production and supply of electricity and water.

UNDP, the European Union and the French Development Agency (AFD) have developed programmes for sharing out responsibilities between State institutions and private investors.

The administration of the new Chad Ministry of Water and the Environment is aware of the lack of a legislative text clarifying the role of each institution and taking into account the recommendations of the international community. It thus asked the French Ministry for Foreign Affairs to give financial assistance with the review of draft texts which have already been drawn up and to validate their proposals.

Regarding the water Code, those in charge in Chad have drawn up a text which makes it possible to reconcile the three types of rights resulting from the animist custom, from the Islamic traditions, and from the legacy of legislation issued before independence.

The action of the International Office for Water has made it possible to complete the Code draft, highlighting in particular :

  • the importance of supplying water, not only to villages but also to transhumant herds,
  • the need to bring decision making centres and consumers together,
  • the use of giving autonomy to the future public or private water supply operators,
  • and the principles of overall, sustainable and balanced management, of preventing pollution at its source, caution when dealing with various hazards and the application of the "polluter-pays" or "user-pays" systems which are now commonly accepted.

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