…Seeks more collaboration with govt on provision of safe drinking water
From: WOLE BALOGUN, Ado-Ekiti
Experts on water borehole drilling have said that only 30 per cent of the Nigerians have access to safe drinking water.
This, according to them, is due to the prevalence of engaging the services of quacks in borehole drilling by both government and many Nigerians.
The experts explained the consequences of the foregoing as spread of water-borne diseases and threat to healthy lifestyle of many Nigerians.
The experts, under the aegis of the Association of Professional Rig Owners and Borehole Drilling Practitioners (AWDROP) , therefore urged governments and individuals to patronise professionals in borehole drilling.
In a mid-term assessment meeting held at Okun-Inu Viila in Aiyegbaju-Ekiti, in Ekiti West Local Government Area of Ekiti State, at the weekend, the group issued a communique which reads and resolved that:
“All members should partner with their state governments in addressing moribund boreholes within their vicinity as contained in the resolution of water council meeting held in Kaduna in 2013, that all state chapters should introduce KYC otherwise known as “Know Your Customers” to all members to enable the association has a database of all borehole dwelling development companies in the state, that the development partners be contacted in conjunction with BPP that is, Bureau of Public Procurement in order to sensitize the members on the procedures of bidding for government contract, that the association will agree to supervise all borehole implementation in the 2017 budget and, that the association to advise the government to award borehole contracts to professionals for effective delivery, and that the association agreed to partner with Federal Ministry of Water Resources on P-Wash programme otherwise known as Partnership for extended water sanitation by federal ministry of water resources and sanitation.”
The meeting had in attendance all states’ executives, including national President Michael Ale, Alhaji Oluwatosin Yusuf, National Vice President, South-West, Alhaji Abubakar Musa, Vice-national President, North-West Nigeria and Alhaji Taminu Suleiman, former Commissioner in Kaduna State.
Speaking on the Law that would regulate water provision and accessiblity and also accommodate those in the profession of providing water for the public, Ale said: “In 2014, at the National Council of Water Resources held in Kaduna, our association has been saddled with the responsibility of regulating activities of borehole drilling in the country.
” On the Integrated Water Resources Management Commission Bill, which is meant to first regulate abbraction of underground water, and also allows every individual to have assess to safe drinking water . This association is part of that Bill at the national level. We are a major part of the Bill and have always been urging the government on the need for the establishment of the commission that would regulate the activities of extracting the underground water and we want the under ground water to be a safe resources for the nation because what is not measured is not valued.
” The ministry of water resources should have something of economic value attached to it. It must carry those of us who are the professionals along in the assignment of tapping water resources for the nation because we are the best hands on it.
” The government cannot meet up with the demands of water by the public and so it behooves on every one who desires safe drinking water to take to borehole drilling for the pure underground water.
” However, when everyone gets water for themselves and government is not involved, the government is losing because getting water for the public is a means of economic boost for the government. Water provision by the government when commercialised would provide billions of Naira for our government and add greatly to our Gross Domestic Product. Also, having assess to safe drinking water would reduce the health issue of the public drastically also, when we use our hard-earned money to get water, we shouldn’t put the project in the hands of quacks who are not professionally trained to drill boreholes.
” We also need to take into consideration, the need to reclaim what has been taken from the underground as it is being done in developed countries. This is because if we only drill the unto get underground water it will one day finish. We are trying to ensure sanity into the process of water supply in Nigeria by ensuring that professionals are engaged to give safe water to the public, ” he said.
Also speaking on the need for partnership with govt, Alhaji Oluwatosin said: “Less than 30 percent of Nigerians have assess to safe drinking water in many states. The consequence of all these is high mortality rate and prevalence of water borne diseases.
” We therefore urge government to collaborate with us in providing safe drinking water for the masses because we have the best drilling equipment and professional acumen to do the job.
” Government giving drilling projects to quack is inimical to providing safe drinking water for the masses. Many of the quacks get project of borehole drilling for very huge amount and hand the project to quack for very ridiculously low amount. The quacks don’t use good equipment for the job and therefore end up providing bad water for the public.
” We have training of international standard and we have continuous interfaced with international borehole drilling bodies.”