The Federal Government has said it is committed to ensure that water resources are protected, developed, conserved and managed for collective benefit of all Nigerians, Minister of Water Resources, Engr. Suleiman Adamu, has said.
The Minister this recently in Abuja when he had a virtual press briefing to give a comprehensive score card of his achievements, one year after his re-appointment by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Adamu noted that, to combat the Covid-19 pandemic, which has impacted negatively on all aspects of human lives, potable water, sanitation and hygiene are critical to the eradication of the virus, hence the ministry’s rehabilitation of 185 water supply projects (5 per state and FCT).
To help fight the pandemic to a standstill, he informed that the following far reaching efforts had been taken by his ministry: construction of 185 solar powered water supply projects (5 per state and FCT); construction of 370 public sanitation facilities (10 per state and FCT); support to state water agencies for their operations to ensure uninterrupted water supply; supply of 370 contactless hand washing facilities with soap and sanitizers (10 per state and FCT); engagement of 77,400 youth volunteers for hand washing and Open Defecation Free (ODF) campaigns, among others.
He further said the Partnership for Expanded Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (PEWASH) is another flag-ship initiative of this administration where 22 State Governments had endorsed the PEWASH protocols, noting that “I am happy to inform you that an additional 11 states have signed up bringing the total to 33.”
The Minister said that the ministry’s efforts on improving sanitation had also yielded the following results: flagging off of the “Clean Nigeria: Use The Toilet” Campaign in November, 2019 towards making Nigeria open defecation free by 2025; promulgation of the Executive Order No. 009 in November 2019 by President Muhammadu Buhari to end open defecation by 2025; inauguration of the Steering Committee for the “Clean Nigeria: Use The Toilet” Campaign (CNC) chaired by the Vice President on 28th May, 2020; certifying of 14 LGAs Open Defecation Free (ODF) in the last 12 months while 10 LGAs are awaiting ODF certification; construction of 20 toilets and four bathrooms; flagging off of ODF Campaigns in five states; active collaboration with the Organized Private Sector to end open defecation by 2025 leading to the formation of Organized Private Sector for WASH (OPS-WASH) Forum and construction of toilets in 46 markets and motor parks, with 23 more still ongoing across the country.
He further explained that the agencies and parastatals under the ministry which included the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency, Nigeria Integrated Water Resources Management Commission, National Water Resources Institute and the 12 River Basin Development Authorities (RBDAs) are also vehicles through which the ministry is contributing to the socio-economic activities of the nation to improve access to potable water, reduce the incidence of water borne diseases, improve sanitation facilities, enhance food security through irrigated agriculture and the implementation of water resources projects and programmes to tackle the problems of unemployment and insecurity challenges facing the nation.
The Minister said, “Strategies and concrete initiatives developed since my first term in office are being vigorously pursued to enable more effective governance of the water sector and service delivery for the benefit of all Nigerians.”
He, therefore, expressed deep appreciation to President Muhammadu Buhari, for his readiness to provide reasonable funding for the sector at all times, despite the country’s revenue challenges, and going further, he acknowledged and thanked the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osibanjo, for his commitment to the water sector.
Earlier in her welcome address, the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Mrs. Ekaro Comfort. C, had noted that the virtual press briefing had given the minister a good opportunity to inform Nigerians at home and in Diaspora of his magnificent and landmark achievements in the Nigerian water and sanitation sector.