By Vivian Onyebukwa
National President of Association of Water Well Drilling Rig Owners and Practitioners, Michael Ale, has called on government to subsidise the cost of drilling borehole to the poor masses. Ale said that drilling in different communities is not enough, but creating subsidy.
He described water as life and recommended subsidy as part of what the government must do in providing water for Nigerians. “It is not about the fact that we are having access, how much has this access being subsidised by government? In all saner climes, water supply is being subsidised just like petroleum. These sectors that have direct impact on livelihood are subsidised for people so that many people can be taken out of poverty line. If all these are not done, then we cannot say we have good access to water supply because many people are sourcing it themselves”.
Ale, a developmental expert and Chairman of Male Integrated Services, decried the quality of borehole services rendered by borehole drillers in the country which he said, is deteriorating because of lack of government’s concern about the activities in the sector. Describing most of the practitioners as all comers, he said, “When you leave the activities of such a sensitive sector unchecked, then you are impending development, investment opportunity, environmental sustainability, social interaction, as well as economic opportunities”.
He equally identified lack of sustainability as bane of water supply across board especially when it comes to government agencies implementing projects. “The fact is sustainability, the base of sustainability is supervision, and professionalism. Do we have professionals handling these projects? If we do not have, then it may not be sustainable. If we do not have the responsible client, project executor, project contractor, whoever that is in charge, or those groups trained well to handle public projects, then those projects are bound to fall”.
Ale further stated that three are several factors that militate against the sustainable infrastructural activities when it comes to water supply in Nigeria, which he said, if all these are properly addressed, most of the bottlenecks being experienced would be a thing of the past.