The Permanent Secretary of Water Resources Ministry, Baba Umar Faruk has called for stakeholders’ concerted efforts towards tackling the enormous challenges bedevilling the water sector.
Baba Faruk made the call in his keynote address at the opening of the 22nd Meeting of the National Technical Committee on Water Resources (NTCWR) held at the National Water Resources Institute, Kaduna on 9th December, 2013.
The Permanent Secretary disclosed that the current national access to water supply is 65% and sanitation, 41% noted that a lot of the citizens still lacked the essential commodities.
He explained that most water Agencies is locked in a vicious spiral of weak performances, insufficient funding and institutional deficiencies. “The current level of water infrastructure is still far below our population demand while our integrated water resources management is still not where it is suppose to be”, he added.
He lamented that despite the enormous opportunities in the water sector in terms of abundant fresh water, favourable weather, substantial human capacity and sufficient institutional arrangement, there were some challenges.
According to him,” all these inadequacies call for concerted efforts from all of us through robust interaction, policy formulation, collaboration and partnership. It is my hope that we will seize the opportunity of this event to bring up ideas, strategies and plans that will turn the situation of our water sector around”.
He expressed appreciation to the government and people of Kaduna State and National Water Resources Institute for their meaningful contributions towards hosting the meeting.
He called on all participants at the NTCWR to take the assignment with utmost sense of duty that would bring up high quality memoranda that would be presented to the Council for consideration.
While presenting a paper on “Enhancing Collaboration and Partnership Amongst Stakeholders in the Water Sector”, one of the invited resource persons, Prof. Joe Goldface Irokalibe charged the Federal Ministry of Water Resources to utilise all available Water resources to the beneficial use of the people in order to achieve optimum level of which they are capable.
He advised that funds either public or private meant for the promotion and expansion to the beneficial use of water resources should be invested for the best interest and welfare of the people within the confines of a fair regulatory framework.
In his goodwill message, Chief, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Section of UNICEF, Mr. Kannan Nadar reaffirmed UNICEF commitment in partnering with Federal Government ensure that every citizen has access to clean water for basic needs and also dispose human waste in a dignified and safe manner.
He therefore, called for the necessary policies, strategies and guidelines to ensure prioritisation of elimination of open defecation, targeting of services to the poorest and increase investments for sanitation.