ABUJA – (Water Resources Ministry Report) – The Minister of Water Resources, Sulieman Adamu recently in Abuja declared open the 1st International Conference of Nigeria Water Supply Association (NWSA) with the theme: “Transforming Urban Water Supply and Sanitation Utilities into Financially Viable Entities.”
Adamu stated that the conference has been strategically planned to generate outcomes that would complement government efforts at improving service delivery in the WASH Sector. He added that one of the critical challenges being faced by many urban dwellers in the African continent today is the availability of sustainable basic services, particularly water supply and sanitation services.
He emphasized that the conference’s mission was to transform the utilities into financially viable entities that will revitalize urban water supply and sanitation services. He noted that the pathways to be taken to accomplish utility transformation is rough as it cuts through difficult terrains of institutional reform, organizational strengthening, infrastructural development and the injection of innovations and proactive response to climate change.
“It is in recognition of the above that the Nigerian Government through the Federal Ministry of Water Resources has been supporting Urban Water Supply and Sanitation Sector Reforms since 2004. Also, the recently approved National WASH Action Plan, and the declaration of state of emergency for the WASH Sector.”
Adamu expressed optimism that the International Conference would bring out workable recommendations that will further strengthen the resolve to fast – track government efforts, identify specific roles for the community of practice, the private sectors and other relevant stakeholders so that collectively, the desire to provide sustainable water services to the growing population in Africa will be realized.
Speaking at the occasion, the National President of the Nigerian Water Supply Association, Eugene Pam stated that the conference has been designed to address these key issues: The Urban Water and Sanitation Goal 2030; transforming water supply and sanitation utilities and preparing water supply and sanitation utilities for market financing.
The highpoint of the conference was the conferment of the award of the Grand Water Patron of the Association to the Minister of Water Resources by the Association and the decoration of competently selected states with the “Water Man” award. The states recognised were: Taraba, Enugu, Bauchi, Delta, Kaduna, Lagos and Cross-River.
Eugene Pam later remarked that the award was to compensate performing states and to encourage others to strive harder towards improving water supply and sanitation for their people.