Minister wants NIHSA to provide framework on groundwater resources


The Minister of Water Resources, Mr Suleiman Adamu, has called on the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) to make deliberate efforts to provide a sustainable technical framework that will ease access to the nation’s groundwater resources.

He made the call at the National Stakeholders’ workshop on drafting of National Groundwater assessment strategic plan for Nigeria in Abuja on Tuesday.

Adamu stated that 60 per cent of the diseases in developing countries were gotten through unsafe water supply and inadequate sanitation, saying that provision of water supply systems in Nigeria wasn’t both important and urgent.

“Diseases related to drinking water contamination represent a major burden on human health and the interventions to improve the quality of drinking water provides significant benefits to health.

“Therefore, provision of water supply systems in Nigeria is both important and urgent.”

According to him, groundwater is a critical stakeholder in the Global Climate Change adaptation and the theme of this year’s World Water Day Celebration, “Making the Invisible, Visible” has made it mandatory to establish a robust Ground Water Resources Management plan.

“In 2012, International groundwater assessment centre under the auspices of World Meteorological Organisation,launched a global monitoring network.

“Nigeria as a global player in the sub-saharan region cannot be left behind in policy making concerning Groundwater management.

“The current state of 73 groundwater management stations established by NIHSA, falls short of the initial minimum requirements of 200 planned to have been achieved by the year 2020,” he added.

He also said that the goal of the meeting was to deliberate on the groundwater assessment requirements and programme formulation to provide the sustainable technical framework to access and monitor the quantity and quality of the nation’s groundwater resources.

“NIHSA Is empowered with the mandate of providing services required for assessment for the nation’s surface and underground water resources in terms of quantity, quality, distribution and availability.

“It is my fervent hope and wish that after this stakeholder’s workshop, we can finally come up with a reliable estimation of the country’s groundwater potential.

“Also at regular intervals of time, there should be a forecast predicting accurate status of underground water, it’s quantity and quality as we are currently doing with the flood outlook, ”he added.

Also speaking, Mr Clement Nze, Director-General of NIHSA, pointed out that the goal of the workshop was to have a good grip on how we can make proper use of groundwater in Nigeria.

“At least in three years maximum, we should be able to make a Statement that will guide policy makers and professional bodies including bore hole drillers on how much water is available underground.

“This is very important so that people can stop mining water, nature doesn’t replace water at that rate at which bore-hole drillers and other users extract it,”he added.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Federal Government said the estimates of total renewable groundwater resources in Nigeria are variable.

NAN also reports that a recent study shows that Nigeria has about 224 trillion l/year of surface water and about 50 million trillion l/year of groundwater for a population of about 128 million.

NAN reports that domestic consumption need is about 6.0 billion l/year in 2001, indicating that there is an abundant water resource potential.

By Patricia Amogu