The federal government of Nigeria has pledged to implement the Integrated Water Resources Management, IWRM, principle to improve the quality and quantity of the nations’ surface and groundwater resources.
Minister of Water Resources and Sanitation, Prof. Joseph Utsev said this in a news conference in commemoration of the 2023 World Rivers Day in Abuja on Monday.
Utsev said the IWRM principle ensures sustainable management of available water resources for the present and future needs of the people.
He said it would facilitate better water management in actualising and harnessing both surface and groundwater to support the nation’s socio-economic growth.
Utsev said in spite of government’s efforts to improve potable water supply to all Nigerians, the national access to water supply is still about 67 per cent, which is below the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) target of 100 per cent by 2030.
The dismal coverage, he said, was attributable to a variety of factors, such as under-utilisation of impounded water in the dam reservoirs, inadequate funding, and low private sector investment in the sector.
The minister said to address some of these issues, the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Water Resources had constructed 260 dams across the country.
He said the Ministry has also impounded nearly 70 Billion Cubic Meters of bulk water in dam reservoirs for multipurpose uses in water supply, sanitation, irrigation, hydropower generation and others.
He, however, urged all Nigerians to be advocates in saving the nations rivers, saying indiscriminate dumping of toxic products, wastes, and plastics should be stopped.