The Lagos-based Pan African Vision for the Environment (PAVE), in conjunction with the Estonian Waterworks Association (EVEL), has embarked on an initiative aimed at promoting better understanding of water as a key social, economic and environmental resource.
Tagged the “Nigeria Water Education for Schools and Communities Programme”, the scheme also aims to facilitate a new water-use ethic in Nigeria. The promoters likewise intend to build and instal water and sanitation infrastructures in selected needy schools and communities.
Introducing the project to a group of civil society operatives on Tuesday, March 14 2017 in Lagos, president of PAVE, Anthony Johnson Akpan, disclosed that the programme would be a strategic entry point to:
- Develop awareness about Water Sector reform and policy issues in Nigeria;
- Develop awareness of water related environmental issues;
- Develop knowledge and skills necessary to analyse the issues and understanding why people view and use water in particular ways;
- Examine attitudes, values, and behaviours regarding consumption of water in cities;
- Identify the underlying causes of current water oriented problems in Nigerian cities;
- Support informed decision-making by the community that could affect the quality of their lives with respect to water;
- Participate actively in the sustainable management of their water environment; and,
- Evaluate and propose actions that will achieve effective water related solutions in support of water resources management.
According to him, the project is being guided by the following objectives:
- Research: To stay abreast of emerging national and state water education trends and standards, and stay in touch with the educational needs of citizens.
- Publications: To produce and publish creative and informative materials to meet the needs identified through research.
- Instruction and Training: To provide leadership and instruction to ensure that materials and services are fully utilised, and to foster grass-roots participants in their capacities to educate others.
- Networking and Partnerships: To form partnerships with organisations to enhance awareness, distribution, and use of materials and services.
- Evaluation: To improve the programme through an aggressive, ongoing, and multifaceted evaluation programme.
- Recognition: To seek ways to acknowledge and recognise people and organisations for their contributions to water education.
- Installation of Infrastructure: The programme will also be complemented with the building and installation of water and sanitation infrastructures in selected needy schools and communities.
The scope of the pilot project entails a state in each of the six geo-political zones in the country, while the time frame is four years, with the possibility of a scale-up to other states in the federation.
While PAVE was established to promoteg sustainable development through research, documentation, policy dialogues, workshops, advocacy and consultancy services, EVEL is a nationwide voluntary association of companies providing the service of public water supply and sewerage and other business operators. The Estonian body comprises 47 water companies and 30 companies related to the field of water management.