By Demola Akinyemi
ILORIN-Member of Nigerian Association of HydroGeologist, Tuesday lamented that, despite the government commitment of large sum of resources into the Millennium Development Goads(MDGs) programme in the provision of water facilities in the country, over 102million out of 200million Nigerians still do not have access to potable water.
The group’s President, Mr Ehidiamhen Olumese spoke at the 29th annual conference of the association held in Ilorin, Kwara state capital, with the theme ‘Strategies to Achieve Sustainable Development Goals in Water Resources”.
He said “It is sad that most of these facilities are not providing desired results for the commonman of the country in the provision of drinkable water’.
According to him, ‘it is disheartening to note that the nation with so much groundwater, but could not have access to portable water and this called for urgent re-approach so that the future generation can have access to drinkable water’
“The theme of the conference could not have been apt most especially when Nigeria has just kick started the full implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs)”.
The national president added that, “This reaches the saying of the “ancient mariner” water, that water everywhere but none to drink’.
He noted that, ‘provision of water from the ground is not by merely drilling boreholes into the saturated zone beneath the subsurface because the choice of materials based on informed decisions and completion of wells is essential to the effective delivery of water and sustainability of the boreholes.
“Drilling of several boreholes does not translate availability of potable water to the citizenry but there must be concerted approach through the full implementation of the principles of Integrated Water Resources Management(IWRM) in the effectiveness and management of the nation’s groundwater resources and there must also the need to quickly conclude deliberation on the water before the national assembly and its enactment into an Act.
“I want to say that, with the coordinated and professional development and management of the nation’s groundwater resources, the entire 200million Nigerians would have access to potable water and the needs of future generation would also be guaranteed “
Olumese therefore called on the federal government to remove restrictive requirements in the water sector procurement system, saying that, ”we place on record that many pre qualifying conditions in past advertisements of the federal ministry of water resources limit the tendering space and reduce competitions for players most especially our members’.