The Kwara State chapter of the Nigerian Association of Hydrogeologists has called on the state governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, to comprehensively overhaul and revive the state’s water supply agency towards addressing the challenges of water scarcity, poor sanitation and hygiene in the state.
In a press statement issued on Tuesday, the group said the efforts would help reclaim the agency’s old glory by bringing its performance to the level of its past competence.
The chairman of the chapter, Lateef Kolawole, said to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG 6), there is a need for water providers in the state to adopt the concept of community management of all water schemes.
The strategy, Mr Kolawole noted, will ensure functionality and enable communities to take up challenges of protection and maintenance of all provided facilities as specified by government policy.
Mr Kolawole advised the governor to review the state’s water resources law to be in tune with modern realities, saying doing so “will pave the way for donors’ support.”
WASH in Nigeria
Nigeria is ranked low in Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) as only nine per cent of the population have access to complete basic WASH services while those living in rural areas are two times more disadvantaged than those in urban areas, a report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has shown.
The data by NBS indicate that there are 2.04 million water facilities in Nigeria with 70 per cent self-supplied, and that only one out of five have provisions for persons living with disabilities.
The report noted that two-thirds of the water facilities are boreholes, adding that 28 out of 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have urban water utilities that produce water, and that 16 states have fully functional urban water utilities.
It added that eight per cent of urban utilities’ consumers are metered and 41 per cent of all that are fed by urban utility supply are contaminated by Escherichia coli.
Meanwhile, NBS ranks Kwara State the least among Nigeria’s 36 states of the federation, in terms of access to basic sanitation.
Mr Kolawole, therefore, reiterated the commitment of the hydrogeologists in ensuring an improved WASH sector, saying that the association is available to provide pro bono technical assistance to the general public through the experience and expertise gathered over the years.