FCT Minister Wants NCWR To Proffer Solutions To Water Challenges

FCT Minister Wants NCWR To Proffer Solutions To Water Challenges
Chris Steven, Abuja
The FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello has challenged the National Council on Water Resources (NCWR) to come up with practical solutions to the numerous problems facing the water resources sector
in the country.

The Minister gave this challenge at the opening ceremony of the 23rd Regular Meeting of the National Council on Water Resources held at
International Conference Centre, Abuja on Thursday.

The Minister noted that Nigeria is blessed with abundant surface and ground water resources and therefore not a water stressed nation, but
the resultant effect of rapid population growth, urbanization, increased economic activities, population migration and climate change
will pose critical water challenges in the next decade.

Malam Bello urged the Council to review and update the National Water and Sanitation Policy, with a view to reducing wastages, improve service delivery and utilization efficiency and more importantly, have
a coordinating policy to monitor and conserve water resources.

His words: “It is imperative that we review and update national water sanitation policy with a view to reducing wastages, improve service
delivery and utilization efficiency and more importantly, have a coordinating policy to monitor and conserve water resources”.

The Minister recalled that the FCT Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in the course of its work provided 400 communities and schools with (Boreholes) portable water, which is today being maintained by the FCT
Water Board.

Malam Bello said there has been an improvement in water supply in the
Territory with the commissioning of the Inter-Basin Water Transfer Project from Gurara Dam in Kaduna State to the Lower Usuma Dam in
Abuja through a three-meter diameter pipe covering about 75 kilometers.

He remarked that two additional water treatment plants of 10,000 cubic
meters per hour production capacity each have been constructed to improve water supply in the FCT.

The Minister added that the FCTA in collaboration with the Japanese
International Co-operation Agency (JICA) brought on stream the Clean Energy Power Project to augment the electric power supply to the water works at Lower Usuma Dam to generate 1.459 mega-watt of solar-powered
electricity.

Malam Bello said the Administration in partnership with JICA also embarked on capacity building, customer enumeration, data base improvements and installation of bulk meters at critical points of thenetwork to eliminate wastages and enhance revenue generating capacity of the FCT Water Board.

In his address, the Minister of Water Resources, Engr. Suleiman Adamu
reiterated that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari places high premium on provision of clean water to all Nigerians.

Also speaking at the occasion, the representative of the European
Union to Nigeria, Jens Hogel said that the EU is directly implementing water supply and sanitation sector reform programme Phases II and III as well as the Niger Delta Support Programme with about N40 billion in
14 States of the federation.

Hogel said with a population of over 170 million and abundant natural resources, Nigeria has the potential to be the economic and political
powerhouse of Africa.