Wants measures to mitigate release of pollutants

By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja

The Minister of Resources, Engr Suleiman Adamu, Wednesday, expressed concern over wastewater management in the Niger Basin.

Adamu who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Didi Walson-Jack, expressed his concern over the current position of wastewater management at the Niger Basin Iullemeden-Taoudeni/Tanezrouft Aquifer System (NB-ITTAS) TEST–UNIDO Regional Validation Workshop on the Standards of Discharge Wastewater in the Niger Basin holding in Abuja.

He also explained the essence of the  5-day Workshop, which is basically to focus on validating the Niger River Basin Wastewater Discharge Standards Project and the deepening of experiences in terms of water quality monitoring and data basins, similar to the Niger River Basin.

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He said: “Nigeria as a country attaches paramount importance to Integrated Water Resources Management of shared water. Hence, our strong commitments to Transboundary Water Organizations like the Niger Basin Authority.

“The degradation of water quality and the effects of Climate Change on water resources are significant concerns of River Basin Management Organizations like ours.

“Indeed, the efficient and integrated management of the water resources available to meet the requirements of the various users in the basin requires our Countries and our Joint Institution, the NBA, to have a better knowledge of this resource.

“It is important to state that the evolution of water resources quality in the basin and the discharge of wastewater have to be monitored, given the continuous increase in industrial, mining, and agricultural activities. Indeed, wastewater management poses many legal, institutional, financial, economic, and cultural challenges.

However, the Minister called on stakeholders to comply and act collectively to improve water quality as it is expected of participants at the workshop to come up with standard measures to mitigate release of pollutants.

“It follows therefore, that individuals and organizations must comply and act in the collective interest to improve water quality and protect water resources. To this end, it is crucial during this Workshop to propose concrete and standard measures to mitigate the release of pollutants, particularly those of anthropogenic origin.

“For the next five working days, you will deliberate on issues that will improve water quality of the Niger River, and hence this Workshop will allow member Countries to: make amendments to and validate the document on standards for the discharge of wastewater into the NBA; identify and plan strategies for sharing data on water quality in the watershed between member countries and the NBA; and share experiences on water quality monitoring between experts from different Basins present at the workshop (Niger and Danube)”, he stated.

Earlier, the Regional Director and Country Representative for Nigeria and ECOWAS, UNIDO Regional Hub Nigeria, Jean Bankole, pointed that Nigeria plays leading role in regional integration within ECOWAS, and commended the Nigerian Government and UNIDO for organizing the workshop.

Bankole said: “Nigeria have a crucial role to play in the region, we can try to address the climate change challenges and address the issue of water pollution, because the best strategies we can get a very good qualitative water which can help people living in this Basin, not only to get very good water but also ensure that water is equally well managed in the region and serve to drive all social and economical activities in the region.

“It is important to have common understanding on the best strategies for a good management of water for this Basin, because it is not only important for domestic use or climate change only, Water is important also for productive activities like industry and that’s why UNIDO is here to conduct this workshop to get the best practices and experience from each countries of the nine countries of the Niger Basin.”

Vanguard News Nigeria

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