The Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Water Resources has put efforts in top gear to collaborate with the Network of Female in WASH (FEMinWASH), the National Water Resources Institute (NWRI), the Water Institute of South Africa and other stakeholders in their capacity building efforts aimed at disadvantaged youths particularly females.
This declaration was made in Abuja by the Honourable Minister of Water Resources, Engr. Suleiman Adamu FNSE, FAEng at the 2022 World Water Day & International Women’s Day celebration by FEMinWASH with the theme “Ground Water; Making the Invisible Visible; Breaking the Bias”.
The Hon. Minister, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mrs. Didi Walson-Jack mni stated that the United Nation’s theme for the 2022 International Women’s Day (IWD) tagged ‘Gender Equality today for a Sustainable Tomorrow’ was aimed at recognizing Women who are working to build a more Sustainable Future.
Engr. Adamu commended FEMinWASH for the work they do in the Sector stressing that the launch of ‘Generation T’ during the occasion was evidence of the Organization’s understanding of the role of Women in the Management and Sustainability of not only ground waters, but all water resources.
The Minister gave an assurance that the Ministry on its own part will explore the opportunities for partnership in line with some existing Graduate/Youth Empowerment Programmes, private sector driven operations and maintenance of Community water supply infrastructure to complement the programmes being launched by FEMinWASH and other stakeholders at the event.
Engr. Adamu further noted that in order to properly assess and manage the groundwater resources of the country, the Ministry through the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) has drilled and instrumented over 70 groundwater monitoring Wells across the major aquifers of the country.
He added that special studies such as saline intrusion into freshwater aquifers are being carried out in order to better understand and sufficiently safeguard this apparently invisible but critical resource.
He also remarked that the Ministry in contributing to SDG 6 particularly as it relates to Sanitation through the Department of Water Quality Control and Sanitation, launched the “Clean Nigeria Use the Toilet Campaign” which has contributed greatly to improving the sanitation and hygiene of Nigerian people.
According to him ‘in 2021, over 100 sanitation and hygiene facilities with boreholes were constructed in Institutions, public places and IDP camps and presently, 78 LGA’s have been declared Open Defecation Free in Nigeria and the Community Water Safety Planning is also helping people at the grassroots to ensure the clean sanitary condition of water sources including groundwater’.
The Minister noted that more needs to be done and all hands must be on deck to recognize the enormous ecological value of underground water for the many surface water bodies and wetlands that depend on it and enjoined all stakeholders to deliberate on the important topics of the day and come up with actions and a communique to move the process forward.
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources, Mrs. Didi Walson-Jack in her address stated that Groundwater governance is key in addressing the multiple concerns and challenges that face the resource and its users.
The Permanent Secretary who was represented by the Director Human Resources, Federal of the Ministry of Water Resources, Mrs. Jumai Idakwo stated that the call for strengthened groundwater awareness, development and protection are getting louder and to achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6, there is need for an improved exploration, monitoring and analysis of groundwater resources.
Mrs. Didi Walson-Jack stressed the need for the Ministry to collaborate with FEMinWASH and other stakeholders to collectively address water scarcity and its associated ills, adding that women and children are the most vulnerable to epidemics caused by scarcity of potable water.
In her introductory remarks, the President and Convener, FEMinWASH, Dr. Bolaji Onabolu stated that many youths are educated but not skilled to be self-reliant hence the Launch of the Generation T: Certification of Plumbimg and WISA Accredited Professional Development.
Highpoints of the occasion were the technical sessions, the launch of generation-T or the generational transformers programme in partnership with the National Water Resources Institute, Kaduna; the accredited professional capacity building programme in partnership with the Water Institute of South Africa; as well as the presentation of awards for Pioneer Patron Award to Engr. Ebele Okeke FNSE, OON, CFR; Pioneer Patron Award to Engr. Kashim Ali mni, FNSE; and Pioneer FEMinWASH Ambassador award to Mrs. Esther Didi Walson-Jack.
Mrs. Funmi Imuetinyan
DD (Press & Public Relations)