Stakeholders ask for safe water policies
STAKEHOLDERS in water resource management have made a case for a workable water management policies and programmes that will make it available for all in the right quality and quantity.
Drawn from the academia, government and professionals in water resource management industry, the stakeholders agreed that water, an essential ingredient for the sustenance of human life, needs to be available for all, irrespective of where they live.
Speaking at the World Water Day in Benin, the Managing Director of the Benin Owena River Basin Development Authority (BORBDA), Engineer Saliu Osifuemhe Ahmed, said the programme was designed to focus attention on the importance of water in our daily lives.
At the ceremony which had as its theme,“Leaving No One Behind”, Ahmed said that water was a human right, adding that it was a cause for concern that in spite of the fact that Nigeria could not be described as a water hard up country, its water management practices left much to be desired, resulting in a situation that could be described as “water every where, but not a drop to drink.”
According to him, the plethora of packaged water whether in sachets or bottles with its concomitant economic strains, demanded that Nigerians should seek better ways to make water more available in the right quantity and right amount.
He said it was in this regard that the BORBDA had, over the years, implemented several projects aimed at providing safe water in most communities in its catchments states of Edo, Delta, Ekiti and Ondo by providing boreholes fitted with hand pumps and motorised pumps powered by either generators or solar power.
Saliu advised states and local governments to redouble their efforts in their primary responsibilities of provision of potable water, adequate sanitation and hygiene, just as he urged the National Assembly to pass the National Water Bill currently before it as the 8th session of the National Assembly is set to wind up.
Also speaking at the ceremony which featured drama presentations by students of select secondary schools in Benin City, the Permanent Secretary, Edo State Ministry of Energy and Water Resources, Mrs. Akongie Oboh, expressed the state government’s commitment to providing potable and safe drinking water to it citizens irrespective of where they live in.
This, Mrs. Oboh said was informed by the discovery of the impact water or the lack of it has on the health of the people.
She added that most illnesses affecting the populace were traceable to the kind of water they drank.