Lagos Restates Commitment to Review WASH Policy As the Global Community Marks World Water Day

On the occasion of this year’s World Water Day, every resident of Lagos has been advised to lead by example; value every drop of water and act like every day is World Water Day.

The Permanent Secretary, Office of Drainage Services, Mr Lekan Shodeinde gave the advice in Agege during an event organised by the Lagos State Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources in collaboration with WaterAid and Kimberly Clark Project, to mark this year’s World Water Day with the theme: “Groundwater: Making the Invisible Visible”

Reiterating the State government’s commitment to harmonizing the Water Sanitation and Hygiene, WASH, which is currently under review to ensure coherence at all levels, Mr Shodeinde noted that this year’s campaign will explain the vital role of groundwater in Water and Sanitation system, Agriculture, Industry, Ecosystem and Climate Change adaptation, with a vote message that protecting and sustainably exploiting groundwater will be central to surviving and adapting in a changing world and its environment as well as meeting the needs of a rapidly growing population.

Represented by the Director, Drainage Enforcement and Compliance, Mr Mamood Adegbite, the Permanent Secretary stated that in recognition of the need for a firm institutional arrangement in the water sector, the Sanwo-Olu’s administration regulation of this sector is based on inclusiveness, building technical expertise and technology to create a robust structure capable of exploiting opportunities locally and internationally as well as tackling challenges in the sector.

“We have also been working assiduously to harmonize policies (most importantly is the review of the WASH Policy, currently ongoing) to ensure coherence at all levels. Modern technologies are being adopted to optimize water usage and we are also building synergies with WaterAid Nigeria, the Professionals and the Academia as evident in this year celebration. Our doors still remains open for partnership with Corporate Organizations, Development Partners and Professional bodies in achieving the goal of water for all (SDG 6).
Water is essential for every aspect of development such as better production, better nutrition, better environment and ultimately a better life. Thus, we welcome the ingenuity of the private sector, the drive of the Civil Society Organization and the solidarity of the International Community in tackling the many challenges in the water sector”

Earlier, the Director, Water Resources Department, Mrs. Omolanke Taiwo said although groundwater is out of sight but its value to human survival cannot be over emphasized.

She said the Water Sector in Lagos State needs the academia, more than ever before most especially in the ongoing review of WASH Poliy.

She added that the Ministry in terms of research on groundwater management is collaborating with Civil and Environmental Engineering and Geology Departments of University of Lagos (Unilag) and also welcome all studies and research in terms of data gathering that can assist the State in policy making.

In a goodwill message, the representative of WaterAid Nigeria Mrs. Nambam Michaels explained that as human activities such as industrialization, waste management, population growth and climate variability intensifies, the threat to quality and quantity groundwater available for sustainable development also increases.

She stressed that there is need for concerted efforts for effective management of the groundwater because making the invisible visible in an increasingly competitive environment requires processes, technologies for extraction and distribution of water which if not monitored could jeopardize people’s health and means of livelihood

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