The National Water Resources Institute (NWRI) has adopted Eco-hydrological solutions and innovations to manage the nations’ water resources potential.
This was the thrust at a workshop on Implementation of Integrated and Holistic Eco-hydrological Approaches for Improved Water Management in West Africa, organised by NWRI in partnership with UNESCO.
The Director-General of the Institute, Prof. Emmanuel Adanu, at the event in Abuja on Tuesday, September 27, 2022, said Jabi Lake in the FCT had been selected as the first eco-hydrology demonstration sites.
According to him, the approach uses simple solutions toward addressing the challenges in the water resources sector, as all stakeholders should embrace it.
“So, anywhere you have stagnant water, you have a way of approaching it, because no water is useless until it is impure, so if you make it pure, it becomes useful at any environment you see it, so that’s what we want to do, and eco-hydrology is one of the methods.
“Now let me tell you one thing, if you go to your villages, anywhere you see stagnant water, the kind of plants that grow there are different from plants that grow in moving water, those are the kind of plants we intend to put around stagnant water to remove all the impurities in the water.
“When those plants become yellow, it means they have rid the environment of those impurities. So we now intend to do that one intentionally in stagnant places, so it is just an integrated way of using nature to purify water, instead of toxic materials used in treating water.’’
Adanu, however, called for the support of all stakeholders in its implementation, saying bureaucracies in establishments would not do the country any good.
Mr John Ochigbo, the Director, River Basin Operations and Inspectorate, who represented the Minister of Water Resources, Mr Suleiman Adamu, said water was an important resource to life’s sustenance and for economic developments.
According to him, as the population expands, the need for water is increasing, with many environmental pollutions threatening the country’s water resources.
Ochigbo said discharges from industries and homes into the lake was abusive, hence the need to clean them up and for them to be more beneficial.
“Jabi Lake has been approved by UNESCO as a demonstration site for eco-hydrology, and the ministry is here to support the UNESCO office towards the development of this centre.
“We are encouraging all relevant water agencies in Nigeria and across West Africa to make use of this demonstration site to be able to build their capacity to handle water resources management issues.
“The lake was initially to serve the purpose of water supply to FCT before the Usuma dam came on board; it is an important water resource and needs to be protected.’’
Mr Dimitri Sanga of UNESCO’s Dakar Regional office said that water was at the core of sustainable development, adding that it was critical for socio-economic development, healthy ecosystems and for human survival.
According to him, the incidence of COVID-19 has shown how access to clean and safe water and sanitation is critical and indispensable to avoid the spread of the virus.
“Given the importance of water, UNESCO works to build the scientific knowledge base, to help its member states manage their water resources in a sustainable manner.
“We work through the Intergovernmental Hydrology Programme (UNESCO-IHP), through leading the UN-wide World Water Development around the world.’’
Sanga said that the partnership would contribute to the achievement of human sustainable development goals and build the resilience of ecosystems in member states.
By Tosin Kolade