By; Abdull-Azeez Ahmed Kadir, Kaduna.
Various experts who spoke at a Forum to mark the World Water Day held at Arewa House Auditorium, Kaduna have linked the prevalence of cancer, herders/farmers conflicts among other ills to poor management of water in Nigeria.
Director of Center for Water and Environmental Development, Musa Nimrod in an interview identified lack of access to quality, safe, potable water as the cause of the rampant cases of cancer in Nigeria.
Nimrod called on the government to provide potable and safe drinking water to the populace as it is the only way to rid the country of most diseases and breakout of epidemics.
“Most Nigerian’s do not consider their source of water because as long as water is flowing, they are not concerned about the source of the water. That is why we decided to sensitize people and key into the United Nations requirement, because we feel that awareness is very important’ he asserted.
“The government should as a matter of priority look at the concept of water and find a solution to the problem and protect the source of the water, because the whole life of a person depends on water; you can live on water for three months, but you cannot live three months without water.
“It is very important that this is brought to the attention of industries that are in the process of production and pollute the water in the process, on the need to protect the water with a view to providing quality water for the populace. Because when you have good water, you have good jobs, but when you have bad water it is the same thing” he added.
Presenting a paper captioned “Promoting Sustainability for Fresh Water resource’s Management by Transforming Societies and Economies” Dr. Donatus Adie of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, higshlighted that most of the boreholes in Nigeria are not properly constructed and are better described as wells as the waters are acidic and that is why there is high rate of cancer in Nigerian.
He appealed to government to make potable, safe drinking water available and accessible with a view to reducing the rate of disease outbreak. He dded thatwhen there is good, safe and potable drinking water, there are less diseases.
“Most Nigerian’s who claim to have boreholes actually have wells, and some challenges affecting fresh water include water pollution, as a result of industries, fresh water sedimentation, as a result of farming at the edge of the river bank, siltation of river channels.
“Others include sedimentation of dams, ground water depilation, water vending, water and sanitation being interwoven. Water is not only about quantity, but about quality because lack of water can result into frustration, conflict and even agitation,” he stressed.
He called on government to make people pay for water to make it attractive.bhe also revealed that Nigeria has 264 large and medium dams but they are all poorly mainatained and utilized to the advantage of the populace.
He also decried inadequate climate change awareness and early warning by the regulatory bodies in the country.
Ealier in his presentation titled “promoting Sustainability for Fresh Water Resources’ Management Towards Changing Workers Lives and Livelihood” Engineer Julious Onemano took participants through what constitute standard water source, what makes water safe and healthy, and methods of water harvesting, storage and care.
He also emphasized that surface water rmains the best and sources such as boreholes are second line and not primary source of safe and potable drinking water.
Coordinator of the event, Madam Dolly Zakama also emphasized the need for environmental sanitation, renewable and recycling of domestic products, especially water bottle containers among others.
It is noted that access to safe, potable drinking water and ample enevironmental sanitation are vital to human health and cannot be accessed by the about 650 million people of the world’s population, placing them at risk of infectious diseases and premature death among other ills.