As the international community marks the celebration of the 2022 edition of World Water Day, Chancellor of Gregory University Uturu, (GUU) and gubernatorial aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in the 2023 election, Prof Gregory Ibe, has made a case for urgent increase in the percentage of potable water accessible to Nigerians.
In a goodwill message to commemorate the annual event, which for 2022 addresses the theme, ”Groundwater: Making Invisible Visible”, Prof Ibe stated that “everything should be done not only to increase the quantity of water harvested from the ground, but also to guarantee the quality and purity of such free gift of nature that is made available to people for consumption”.
He argued that since according to United Nation sources, groundwater is credited with providing about half of all drinking water worldwide, 40% of water for irrigated agriculture and about one third of water required for industry, “the importance of this natural resource to the ecosystem makes further research and investigation on its sustainability and adaptability imperatively critical”.
Appreciating the ingenuity of developing economies round the world, in sourcing, drilling and pumping groundwater for local consumption as potable water, Prof Ibe however warned on the environmental dangers of indiscriminate digging of water boreholes without statutory impact assessment investigations.
According to him, “While appreciating the ingenuity of our people in privately sourcing for groundwater which they eventually harvest as drinking water, I want to specially commend Governor Okezie for bringing sanity, orderliness and quality assurance to the sector through the launching of the Abia State Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Policy (WASH) and the subsequent declaration of state of emergency on water last year.
He relied his argument on the invaluable policy document produced by the IKpeazu’s administration, saying “my team has developed a comprehensive reform blueprint for the water sector in Abia, that will not only revive our old water schemes, but shall completely revolutionize such critical areas as sourcing, harvesting, purifying and delivery of clean fresh water to our people,”.
“We’ll be deploying ICT solutions in the process. With my background as a World Bank and UN Consultant of many years standing,
“I intend to deploy my vast knowledge of the UNDP agenda for the water sector in the overall Sustainable Development Goals blueprint to drive efficient and effective water sector reforms in Abia, thereby achieving and possibly exceeding the targets of Governor Ikpeazu’s WASH policy”.
It will be recalled that the United Nations had set aside March 22 every year for the celebration of World Water Day, as a way of bringing global attention to developments within the water sector.
Uche Nwosu is a two time Shell Petroleum PLC award winner in the year 2000;
He won the Shell Award on Investigative Journalism and Environmental Cleanliness.