From Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
The indiscriminate drilling of boreholes in Ogun State is worrisome. And the Nigerian Institution of Water Engineers (NIWE) is uncomfortable. It called attention to the danger and the urgent need to guard against natural disasters in the near future.
NIWE equally warned that man-made activities of borehole drilling without regulation would hasten earthquakes and land tremors. Its national chairman, Dr. Adeyinka Sobowale, painted the danger inherent in borehole drilling:
“The concrete basement in the earth core will continue to be weakened and punctured by borehole drilling. Government and other relevant authorities should monitor and regulate the activities.
“There is need for the creation of a water regulatory agency to ensure sustainable provision of potable water. NIWES is the foremost professional body that advocates for sustainable development and management of freshwater resources.”
He remarked the World Water Day, marked every March 22, is a United Nations observance day to highlight the importance of fresh water. This year’s theme was “Accelerating Change.”
Sobowale said: “The entire globe is faced with a huge water and sanitation crisis. Dysfunction throughout the water cycle undermines progress on all major global issues, from health to hunger, gender equality to jobs, education to industry and disasters to peace.
“Over 179 million Nigerians do not have access to safely managed drinking water services. The government-owned State Water Agencies (SWAs) have been grossly underperforming, a situation which has led Nigerians to engage in self-supply from unwholesome water sources.
“Nigeria is not on the track of meeting Goal Six of SDGs. This deficiency is attributed to declined investment in the sector; low capacity development and utilization in the areas of technical competence; system optimisation; insufficient share of renewable energy; low operational standards in SWAs; aging staff and lack of succession planning; poor cost recovery and lack of regulation of state actors.
“Government at all levels needs to rethink our strategies of meeting SDG Six, total commitment to ensure that these goals are pursued with passion for the well-being of our people. Meeting the SDGs will ensure that our nation becomes an egalitarian society.”
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