The Federal Government (FG) has, again, reiterated its commitment to tackling the country’s water challenges. To achieve this, the Ministry of Water Resources is working towards integrated water resource management to harness the potential of surface and groundwater to meet the country’s current demands.
Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, disclosed this, yesterday, at the 29th Regular Meeting of the National Council of Water Resources (NCWR) in Sokoto.
He said: “ According to the National Water Resources Master Plan 2013, Nigeria has about 333 Billion Cubic Metres (BCM) of surface water and about 156 BCM of groundwater, which can be harnessed to adequately meet Nigeria’s current water demand for domestic consumption and other development activities.”
Adamu also said that the government’s flagship projects and programmes implemented through the ministry had, undeniably, resulted in improved access to water for the variety of applications and improvements in the Water Sanitation and Hygiene Sector.
He noted that the meeting would afford members the opportunity to evaluate progress made in the sector and take remedial measures that would help to meet the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG-6) target to achieve this, he called for a review of strategic plans towards ensuring available and sustainable management of Water and Sanitation for all.
According to him, Partnership for Expanded Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (PEWASH) and the World Bank-assisted Sustainable Urban-Rural Water Sanitation and Hygiene (SURWASH) are contributing to the improvement in public health and eradication of poverty in Nigeria with a view to achieving SDG Targets 6.1 and 6.2 in the rural areas, and improvement in Urban, Small Towns, and Rural Water Supply as well as strengthening Sector Institutions in the participating States.
He added that over the years, the ministry has constructed 260 dams across the country and impounded 34B CM of bulk water in dam reservoirs for multi-purpose use, including Water Supply, Sanitation, Irrigation, Hydropower generation, and others.
Adamu said: “From 2015 to date, the ministry has completed 12 additional dams, which have brought the total volume of impounded water in the reservoirs to 14.7 BCM, with a corresponding increase in the nation’s surface water resources from 32.7 BCM to 39.2BCM.”
He called for effective collaboration among stakeholders in the sector, particularly between the three tiers of government, to holistically harness the rich potentials of the country and maximise the benefits of the huge capital investments in the completed dams, water supply, and irrigation infrastructure Nationwide.
He, however, emphasised that the passage of the National Water Resources Bill into law will contribute to improved management of Nigeria’s Water Resources and the proper harnessing of both surface and groundwater to support the nation’s social and economic needs.
On ending Open Defecation in Nigeria by the target year of 2025, the Water Minister said, his Ministry has since 2019 embarked on a Nationwide Campaign through the ‘Clean Nigeria: Use the Toilet Campaign and stressed that as of Dec.2022, one State (Jigawa State) and 100 LGAs Nationwide have been certified Open Defecation Free. He expressed appreciation to the Sokoto State government for hosting the 29th Regular Meeting of the National Council of Water Resources.