Jacques Saham

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It was in September 2014, during the 10th anniversary of Chad’s Publish What You Pay coalition that my organisation, Action de Partenaires pour l’Appui au Développement – APAD decided to join this movement.

Although APAD (in English: Partnership Action for the Support of Development), of which I am the coordinator, is a new member, we have been working with PWYP-Chad for a long time. Active in 19 regions of Chad, APAD works with young people to give them opportunities for a brighter future. The arrival of oil in the early 2000s changed many things in Chad and it had a particularly significant impact on the younger generation. Lacking arable land – sacrificed for the exploitation of black gold – and full of illusions, many young people left rural areas to settle in urban areas. But once there they aren’t able to find jobs and instead contribute to the growing insecurity in urban areas, now overcrowded. With the coalition, we are working on raising awareness among young people on issues linked to oil extraction. We want them to understand both the possible benefits and the harm that oil can be cause in Chad. For me personally, it was a field trip in the Logone Oriental Region that made me aware of the disastrous impact that oil can have when poorly managed. I was horrified to see the carcasses of cattle that had been drinking water contaminated by an oil well… It was at this moment, when I saw how negligence can destroy valuable resources, that I decided to get more involved. You really need to spur the new generation so that the youth has a say on the use of oil revenues in Chad and so that it can challenge leaders on these fundamental issues.

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