The Federal Ministry of Water Resources on Wednesday, August 7, 2019 reaffirmed its commitment to ensuring safe and sustainable water for all citizens.
Mrs Rukayat Bako, the Deputy Director, Quality Control and Sanitation in the ministry, gave the assurance in Lokoja, Kogi State, at a workshop on ‘’Water Safety Plan (WSP)’’ for water providers across the North Central states.
The workshop was for officials of ministries and agencies of water resources from the six states in North Central zone of the country.
Bako noted that the workshop was organised to build the capacity of the water service providers on the concept, process and techniques of water safety planning.
She noted that it would also help the participants to understand the key benefits of effective implementation of water planning and identify the expertise needed to design and implement an effective water safety plan.
‘’We are here in Kogi to train our water providers under the ministry’s Community Water Safety Plan (CWSP) programme which is a very essential aspect of water supply.
‘’We are not satisfied with the level of access to quality potable water supply and that is why we are making more efforts to ensure that the staff of state ministries and water agencies are adequately trained,” Bako said.
She advised the state governors in the North Central zone to prioritise water supply in their various states.
The director also counselled rural dwellers to treat their water by boiling it before drinking.
A resource person, Dr Grace Oluwasanya of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), said the workshop was meant to raise champions on WSP.
According to her, water safety plan is a plan to ensure the safety of drinking water using a comprehensive risk assessment and risk management approach that encompasses all steps in water supply from catchment to consumers.
‘’My expectation from this workshop is to be able to raise champions that will be able to drive the development and implement water safety planning in their various organisations at state and local levels.
‘’The objective is to be able to provide safe drinking water to every one of the over 170 million Nigerians,’’ Oluwasanya said.
The expert said that one of the key solutions to challenges facing quality water supply in Nigeria is for government at all levels to adopt WSP.
‘’WSP is a very proactive, preventive and comprehensive method of ensuring safe drinking water and that is why we are here.
‘’We want to change the mindset of the people about how we treat and use water and ensure a safe drinking water for all,’’ she said.
Also speaking, Dr Dickson Kadiri, Assistant Director, Laboratory Services, Federal Ministry of Water Resources, said the participants would be trained on the modules of water safety plan to secure water that people drink.
He noted that water management and diseases were directly related, saying that contamination of drinking water could result to various types of diseases, especially among children.
Kadiri said officials of the ministry were at the workshop to reduce water-borne diseases.
By Stephen Adeleye