Learn more about specific causes in Republic of Chad that you can get involved in.
EnvironmentThe largest issues that plague the environment in Chad are the desertification and the shrinking of Lake Chad. Lake Chad has decreased by 90% in the past 50 years due to periodic droughts, below average rainfall, and increasing withdrawal for irrigation.1 Well over 20 million people in Chad, Niger, Nigeria, and Cameroon all depend on Lake Chad for agricultural cultivation and drinkable water, making the shrinkage a large-scale problem.2 Poverty also contributes to the population’s vulnerability to climate change because people cannot receive the help they need to recover from floods and drought.1
FamilyIn Chad, polygamy is widely accepted and practiced throughout the country.1 Additionally, the country of Chad is home to the world’s third highest rate of child marriages. 68% of girls are married before the age of 18.2 The Chadian culture values women based on the number of children they bear and allows violence in marriage to bring about submission. Most women are illiterate and have little to no access to health information or maternal care.3
Human RightsChad’s human rights record is very poor. The government has never upheld a standard for human rights and security forces are committing numerous human rights violations with impunity. Some of the recent violations that have occurred in Chad include extrajudicial killings, beatings, torture, rape, and widespread corruption in all levels of the government.1 Female genital mutilation in Chad is illegal, but it is still widely practiced.2 Human rights activists and journalists have been threatened and harassed by security forces for speaking out against human rights violations and government corruption.1
EducationOnly 40% of Chad’s population is literate.1 20% of children do not ever attend primary school, and of those who do attend, only one-third finish. In past years, little funding or attention has been given to the educational system, resulting in poor facilities and resources. Only 30% of teachers are properly trained to teach students. Even students who do attend school do not receive quality education due to these conditions.2
PovertyAround 45% of the population in Chad lives at or below the poverty line, and Chad remains one of the poorest countries in the world.1 With such widespread and pervasive poverty, it is increasingly difficult for the average citizen to access health care and proper nutrition. Chad is also a landlocked country, which means that its natural resources are severely limited.2 Other factors that increase the poverty level are the country’s inadequate infrastructure, climate variability, and the low annual rainfall.3 In rural areas, poverty is more prevalent than in urban areas, since 80% of the people rely solely on farming to make a livelihood and climate change and drought have limited agricultural productivity in recent years.2 Additionally, nearly 90% of the Chadian population resides in Read More slum housing, which is defined as housing that lacks clean water access, sanitation, or structural stability.1 Show Less
ReligionAbout half of Chad’s population identifies as Muslim, one third identifies as Christian, and the rest tend to follow indigenous religious beliefs.1 Although Chad has no official state religion, Muslims hold a disproportionately high number of public office positions. The government also bans certain Muslim groups that are known for extreme violence.2 In recent years, Chad has been pulled into a conflict between Muslims and Christians in the Central African Republic and has become a haven for refugees displaced by the violence.3
Clean WaterContaminated water is one of the leading causes of child mortality and cholera in Chad.1 49% of the population does not have access to clean water or sanitation. In some regions, water is sold as a luxury commodity and many cannot afford it.2 The Chadian government is highly reliant on humanitarian groups to build latrines and water sanitation systems throughout the county. The families who live near these systems are required to pay a small fee in order to use the water on a daily basis and the money goes towards the maintenance of the facilities and soap.1
EconomyChad’s economy relies heavily on agricultural products such as cotton and grains, as well as oil exports. There is a marked lack of business freedom and property rights, and the government is very involved in the private sector. Mismanagement of government funds greatly undermines any lasting economic development that could occur in Chad.1 The economy’s growth is largely dependent on world oil prices, which fluctuate often.2
GovernmentChad gained independence from France in 1960, and the country’s history has since been marred by violence and political instability.1 It has been engaged in civil war for 35 of the 57 years of its freedom.2 The Republic of Chad now operates with a presidential system of government. The current President, Idriss Deby, is widely considered to be corrupt, and nepotism reigns within his inner circle. He threw out constitutional restrictions in order to run for a fifth term in 2016 and was met with public protest. In spite of pushback from opposition, he won the election anyways.3 Rule of law and the judicial system are both very weak in Chad. Corruption has been rampant for many years and Chad consistently ranks among the most Read More corrupt countries in the world. Much of the country’s recent oil wealth has been mismanaged and many believe government corruption is to blame.4 Show Less
HealthChad’s healthcare system is sorely lacking in trained doctors, manpower, funding, resources and facilities. In some regions, there is only one doctor for every 244,000 people. Because of this, the distribution of medications is uneven and ineffective. 33% of Chadian children are unable to be vaccinated against preventable childhood diseases and Chad has the highest percentage of childhood malnutrition in West Africa.1 Malnutrition is the leading cause of child mortality, and 30% of children are underweight. Noncommunicable diseases are the leading cause of death, as people don’t have access to vaccinations for conditions like malaria, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS.2
ChildrenChildren in eastern Chad are at risk of being recruited at as young as 13 for the Chadian army and armed opposition groups. Children in rural areas are rarely provided with education or employment opportunities as alternatives to military recruitment, and the government does not actively condemn the use of children in military groups.1 Even as children are being transitioned out of military roles, there are inadequate resources to provide them with education and recovery.2 Additionally, the mortality rate for children under five is very high, with 150 deaths per 1,000 live births.3 More than 500,000 children suffer from malnutrition due to food shortages.4
AnimalsChad has a rich animal life and is home to a variety of animals such as lions, elephants, rhinoceroses, cheetahs, and many species of birds and reptiles.1 Some species, such as the West African lion and Dama gazelle, are endangered due to poaching and destruction of their habitats through deforestation. There are areas of conservation, but the government does not have sufficient funds or resources to keep them in operation.2
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