Minister inaugurates committee for American funded water project
To foster learning and knowledge management among practitioners, the Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu has inaugurated a 10-man Steering Committee for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) project.
Coming under the Community of Practice (CoP) WASH Coordination Project (WCP) in Nigeria, the programme has the mandate to develop a framework for self-sustaining, demand driven and locally appropriate platform for knowledge exchange within the urban WASH sector of Nigeria. It will also support State’s water agencies in their efforts to develop, disseminate and assess technical information with regards to the commercialization of water utilities.
Inaugurating the committee in Akure, the Ondo-State Capital, the minister tasked the members to work assiduously in coming up with sound ideas that could help to boost performance in the water sector. He commended the initiative describing it as novel within the water sector and hoped that it would promote the sector.
Adamu, an engineer, expressed dismay with the lackluster supply of water to Nigerians across the 36 states of the federation noting that it is quite unfortunate that despite Federal Government huge investment in water projects in some states, the state Chief Executive Officers have failed to complement such gesture by providing Pipe-linkages for the project through which regular water could get to their citizens.
Also, welcoming the newly constituted forum of chief executive officers of states water boards, he urged them to brace up in changing the narratives of poor water supply to residents by making use of the abundant water sources in mitigating the shortage of supply. He challenged them to be innovative in meeting the target of 24 hours water supply to homes, ministries, parastatal and agencies within their territories.
Speaking at the inaugural meeting of the committee, the Chief of Party (COP) for WCP, Timeyin Uwejamomere observed that the committee, which is made up of Nigerian WASH experts would work with Development Innovations Group (DIG) to oversee its activities and ensure that CoP is a knowledge focused platform. It is designed and managed to disseminate practical and relevant information on WASH development, tools and best practices in Nigeria, maximize ownership and member participation in the CoP beyond Kaduna and Bauchi States and ensure that USAID-funded activities from SUWASA and WCP are disseminated.
Uwejamomere lauded the invaluable contributions of the director of water supply in the Federal Ministry of Water Resources; Mr. Benson Ajisegiri especially for been passionate in making sure that more Nigerians have access to safe, clean and hygienic water to safe citizens from frequent tourism to hospitals for treatment to diseases which are water-borne related.
He bemoaned the current statistical reality, which revealed that only 7per cent of Nigerians have access to water from the public utilities calling for collective action to salvage the situation.
Members of the Committee who are experts in water management, sanitation, research, empowerment and advocacy as well as media sectors include; Anthony Akpan, Dubagari Abisabo, Okafo Ngozi, Hossana Dajan, Belema Ogbuigwe, Mary Wuya, Chinedum Uwaegbulam, Judith Warmate, Joachim Ezeji and Sani Adamu.