UN official highlights values of water in fighting COVID-19 pandemic

By Adesina Wahab

President of the Association of Well Drilling Rig Owners Practitioners (AWDROP), Mr Michael Ale, has said Nigeria can meet her water needs if the government collaborates with experts in the area and take advice that would lead to providing safe drinking water for the people.

Ale stated this while speaking on this year’s World Water Day with the theme ” Valuing Water.”

Ale opined that without the collaboration of the government with experts in the field, it would not be easy to meet the demand of the people for safe, potable water.

He called on the government at all levels to pay serious attention to the provision of safe and potable water for the people, as the lack of that always leads to many preventable diseases.

Also read: Makinde proposes N3bn investment plan for water supply in Oyo

He said: “Every March 22 is marked by the United Nations to celebrate water and this year’s theme is, ‘Valuing Water’. My organization is a business-minded organization.

We have a human face in terms of Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR). If we look at it comparatively, we have done more than the government in providing safe and clean water.

We are working to complement the government’s efforts. Take for example, if we don’t have boreholes in the world, what would have happened to the survival of the people?

“We have a situation where the Federal Government has helped the road transport owners and workers with vehicles and loans, the market women with shops and beautiful markets, and so on and so forth, but when it comes to our industry, nothing has been done to assist practitioners.

“We are subsidizing the provision of water for the people. People don’t even want to dig well again because the cost is almost equivalent to digging a borehole. In rural areas, we don’t have water resources and we don’t know which of the 36 state governors is ready to collaborate with us,” he said.

He suggested that the provision of water should be treated as a business and that the government should do more in regulating activities related to that to prevent haphazard drilling of boreholes.

“Regulation of operators in the drilling industry is what is important to avoid environmental degradation through haphazard drilling. From time immemorial, boreholes have been sunk and there were no adverse effects.
The only effect is that the water is drying up because the volume of underground water is no longer sufficient for consumption. And soon, this may be causing disputes between neighbours when available water can’t serve a neighbourhood. The only solution to this is the regulation of borehole operations in Nigeria.

“Government and stakeholders in the water sector must come together to fashion out solutions to haphazard drilling of boreholes and as a way to protect our environment,” he added.

He expressed the fear that the government might not be able to meet the UN’s 2030 target of provision of safe and potable water for every citizen

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