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Lake Chad: Experts seek effective Groundwater Management PDF Print E-mail

By Tosin Kolade

The Technical Director of Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC), Dr Mana Boubakari, has identified insurgency and climate change as major challenges to effective groundwater management in the region. Boubakari disclosed this at a side event on the sidelines of the ongoing sixth Africa Water Week in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania.

He said it was sad to note that these challenges were worsened by the population growth in the region following inflow of refugees. According to him, no fewer than nine million people live in the region, whose livelihood depended on the depleting lake and if the problems of the basin are not addressed more conflicts and violence will erupt in the area.

"The activities of Boko Haram, effect of climate change, flooding, drought has caused poor yield in farming, displacement of communities, unemployment and poverty. The countries in Lake Chad Basin Commission need to sit down together and look at ways of enforcing best practices to maintain and protect the water treasures that we have.’’

Boubakari said the effect of global warming and inefficient management of the watershed had caused the displacement of both pastoralists and fishermen who depended on the water.
He said urgent efforts were needed to scale up access to water in the region since the lake was shrinking daily. He appealed to all the nine member-states to ratify the water charter in the basin to enable it meet rising water demand.

Boubakari added that the commission was embarking on a campaign to save the region in line with the LCBC Common Vision 2025, and in the five-year investment plan.

While commending activities of the Multi-National Joint Force, which is fighting the insurgents in the region, the technical director called for more effort to secure the region and its infrastructure. Prof. Ibrahim Goni, from the University of Maiduguri, also stressed the need to manage the basin saying it is the only source of ground water for the people.

He cited the lack in coordination between institutions managing water resources in the region as a big challenge. Goni added that deforestation should be discouraged by all to protect the region from continued depletion.

The 6th Africa Water Week, organised by the African Ministers Council on Water, (AMCOW), aspires to lay the building blocks to achieve the UN's Sustainable Development Goal on provision of adequate and equitable access to safe water and sanitation for all by 2030. It equally represents AMCOW’s belief that effective and efficient management of water resources leads to the provision of adequate and equitable access to safe water and sanitation.

 
Nigeria restates commitment to providing regular and potable water by 2030 PDF Print E-mail

By Tosin Kolade

Nigeria's Minister of Water Resources, Engr. Suleiman Adamu has restated Federal Governments’ commitment towards increasing access to potable water for all Nigerians by 2030.

Adamu said this on the sidelines of the ongoing Africa water Week in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania.

He said that without universal access to safe water and sanitation, poverty and inequality cannot be eradicated in any country.

``We are working to ensure that all Nigerians have access to potable water by 2030 through urban water sector reform programme.”

``We realise that implementing the first and second urban water reform programmes have resulted in moderate success and improved piped water supply, if we put more efforts, we can achieve more.’’

Adamu said that the results from the Millennium Development Goals, showed that Nigeria was not able to meet its target due to sole reliance on budgetary allocation. He said Nigeria would soon launch the National Programme on Partnerships for Extending Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, aimed at meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs 6) of universal access to water.

This programme, the minister said, was a partnership between the three tiers of government, the development partners and communities to commit funds and mobilise towards meeting the SDG 6 by 2030.

``We have also realised that one of the reasons why Nigeria failed to meet the MDGs was because we have been relying only on budgetary allocation from the three tiers of government.

``Due to dwindling resources, there is a huge challenge of scaling up; this is why we must include all other stakeholders.

He said Nigeria needed to take the lead on its issues, rather than relying also on development partners.

He said Nigeria would do everything possible to reform the water sector because of its centrality to health, agriculture, and others.

He said the ministry has created a data bank and census for water supply and sanitation for all water infrastructures in the country. Adamu emphasised the need for attitudinal change toward public utilities, saying Nigeria must begin to see the importance of paying for water consumed.

He stressed the role of political will and commitment from state actors and chief executives in funding water, saying they are the decision makers in parts of the country.

He said the ministry would continue in its advocacy to ensure that governments begin to allocate more funds for such projects.

The minister commended the World Bank and other development partners for funding water projects in the country and pledged government`s commitment to increasing fund allocation to water.

The 6th Africa Water Week aspires to lay the building blocks for Africa to achieve the SDG 6 as well as other inter-linking SDGs connected with water resources management. The week represents a political commitment at the highest level for creating platform to discuss and collectively seek solutions to Africa's water and sanitation challenges.

 

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