Commission Lists Gains Of Water Resources Bill

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Executive Director, Nigeria Integrated Water Resources Management Commission Mr Reuben Habu, has expressed optimism that Water Resources Bill will address many challenges in the water sector, when signed into law.
Habu told newsmen in Abuja that the bill would ensure protection and management of Nigeria’s water resources in a sustainable and equitable manner for the benefit of all citizens.
The executive director said that water sources were being threatened by inadequate management and widespread pollution resulting from indiscriminate disposal of hazardous substances.
Habu said that there was the need for a law to protect them.
The executive director noted that the country had made much investment in water schemes and related activities but had yet to achieve the desired result.
According to him, the desire to improve access to the resources had become more obscure because of increasing demand for water in the country.
He said that the rise in demand for water had exceeded supply, noting that it resulted from high population growth rate, increasing urbanisation and rising living conditions.
Habu added that poor watershed management, deteriorating water quality, drought and desertification also increased water scarcity.
“Scarcity of potable water is threatening urban and rural development with rapidly rising water supply costs, thereby reducing reliability of water supplies in Nigeria, ” he said.
The executive director identified degrading watersheds and water courses and fragmented and uncoordinated extraction of water resources as some major challenges in the sector.
Habu said that the commission had determined to engage the services of stakeholders and water research institutions to widen its sensitisation programme on the importance of the bill.
“Recently, we received students alongside other lecturers led by Dr Hadiza Liman, Head, Department of Geography, Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University, Lapai, Niger, and we sensitised them.
“Such collaboration will bridge the gap between academia research and water resources management institutions and other stakeholders and the public in general, ” he said.