Represented by the Permanent Secretary
The nine member Countries in the Niger Basin Authority (Benin, Cameroun, Cote d Voire, Guinea, Burkina-Faso, Mali, Niger, Nigeria and Chad) gathered for ‘Niger Basin-Iullemeden Taoudeni/Tanezrouft Aquifer System (NB-ITTAS) regional workshop on the validation of the Draft Report on Waste Water Discharge Standards in the Niger Basin’ on Wednesday 18th May 2022 in Abuja, Nigeria’s Capital City.
The Honourable Minister of Water Resources, Engr. Suleiman Adamu FNSE FAEng who declared the workshop open in his opening remarks stated that Nigeria as a Country has strong commitments to Trans boundary Water Organizations like the Niger Basin Authority and attaches paramount importance to Integrated Water Resources Management of shared water.
The Minister who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Water Resources, Mrs Didi Walson-Jack mni, noted the challenges associated with wastewater management to include legal, institutional, financial, economic, and cultural challenges.
He therefore explained that it is important to monitor the evolution of water resources quality in the Basin and the discharge of wastewater due to the continuous increase in industrial, mining, and agricultural activities.
Engr. Adamu reiterated the need to improve water quality and protect water resources by calling on participants at the Workshop to propose concrete and standard measures to mitigate the release of pollutants, particularly those of anthropogenic origin.
He stated that he expects participants during the workshop to identify and plan strategies for sharing data on water quality in the watershed between member countries and the NBA; and share experiences on water quality monitoring between experts from different Basins present at the workshop.
Earlier, the Director, Water Resources Planning and Technical Support Services of the Federal Ministry of Water Resources, who is also the National Coordinator, National Focal Structure (NFS) Nigeria, Mrs. Alice Ojowu FNMGS, FNAH stated that the Workshop was part of the implementation of Component 3 of the NB-ITTAS Project implemented by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) to fight against pollution in the Niger Basin.
Mrs Ojowu reminded Participants that the Regional Workshop is a follow-up to the National Workshop held by all member countries of the NBA.
According to her, the objectives of the Workshop include the validation of the draft standard of rejection developed by the UNIDO TEST component of the NB-ITTAS project; and the capitalization of the experiences in terms of Water Quality Monitoring and Data sharing in Basins similar to Niger Basin.
In his remarks, UNIDO Regional Director, Ambassador Jean Bakole expressed delight that the workshop was holding in Nigeria due to the Country’s commitment and it’s role in regional integration.
He stated that the workshop will bring out the best practices from each Country on how to address the Climate Change and water pollution challenges as water resources have become key resources for now and the future.