Experts attribute poor management, reticulation factors to water shortages
Story from Dahiru SULEIMAN, Dutse
The 3-day symposium on mitigating water shortages in Jigawa State held recently has noted that the lack of adoption of modern technology for sustainable water availability at all levels was attributed to poor water management, coupled with overlap functions amongst government agencies operating in the water resources sector which makes coordination very difficult.
In a four pages communiqué, the gathering observed that even though the state government invested heavily in the provision of water to its teeming populace, much was expected to be done in areas of proactive measures in operational management in meeting its demand adequately.
The gathering noted that water sectors are faced with challenges of lack of reliable and actionable data on Nigeria’s water resources and where such data exist they are not widely disseminated and community participation has been neglected in water management.
It further noted that there is an inadequate or insufficient power supply of water; it sorted for concerted efforts amongst water resources managers at all levels of government to serve as a guide for groundwater prospecting and mining.
The symposium noted that there was an urgent need to promote community participation and ownership at all stages of curbing water shortage and propagate the involvement of critical stakeholders to be part of the process and also, public partnership inclusion should be encouraged in meeting the sustainable development goals.
It sought for the promotion and adoption of simple, cheap and sustainable methods of water provision in communities experiencing severe water scarcity to eradicate it and also advise government agencies operating in the water resources sector to ensure the development of a coordinated approach and thereby eradicate overlap of functions.
The overall goal of the symposium was to proffer solutions towards alleviating water scarcity and to encourage private sector participation in the provision of sustainable water in partnership with the government. Also, it aimed at providing meaningful discussion and recommendations on how to effectively address water scarcity, engage with relevant stakeholders and explore the practicability of the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model and apply it in the provision of water for sustainable national growth and development.
Least amongst the objectives of the symposium includes providing rural and urban low-income communities access to water, eradicating extreme water scarcity in communities and promoting the adoption of simple, cheap and sustainable method of water provision among others.
Earlier in his keynote address, Ambassador Zubairu Dada, Hon. Minister of State Foreign Affairs, and Chairman DTCA represented by Amb. Shuaibu Onoze, the organisers of the symposium, highlighted the potential of the symposium towards finding a lasting solution in mitigating water scarcity for the growth and development of the state and the country at large.
Similarly, Governor Badaru Abubakar of Jigawa State emphasised the need to find a practicable and cost-effective way to provide water for domestic and industrial use at all times.
The symposium was attended by over 90 water experts and engineers drawn from various organisations and institutions, LGAs, CBOs, media organisations, among other relevant sectors.
During the three days symposium, about eight constructive papers were presented and digested by water experts who participated.