Nigerian Water Engineers Advocate Autonomy for State Agencies to Address Drinking Water Crisis

Dr. Adeyinka Sobowale, the National Chairman of the Nigerian Institution of Water Engineers, emphasized the urgent need for granting full autonomy to state water supply agencies across Nigeria to attract investment and enhance access to safe drinking water. Speaking during a press briefing to commemorate World Water Day at the Bolude Oyebolu Engineering Centre in Abeokuta, Sobowale underscored the importance of developing water resources master plans tailored to each of the 36 states.

Highlighting the severity of Nigeria’s water crisis, Sobowale referenced the 2021 Water, Sanitation, Hygiene National Outcome Routine Mapping, revealing that a staggering 87% of the population, equivalent to 179 million Nigerians, lack access to safely managed drinking water services. Moreover, he emphasized that 68% of the population relies on drinking water contaminated by thermotolerant coliform at the point of collection.

To address these pressing challenges, Sobowale advocated for the removal of unnecessary interference in the operations of state water supply agencies through adequate legislation, thus creating an enabling environment for investment. He stressed the importance of developing comprehensive water supply master plans and establishing water regulatory agencies in each state to ensure quality assurance and effective regulation of service providers.

Reflecting on this year’s World Water Day theme, “Water For Peace,” Sobowale emphasized the pivotal role of water in fostering peace and highlighted the potential conflicts arising from water scarcity and unequal access. He called upon government entities at all levels to explore innovative solutions and collaborations to enhance water supply and ensure access to safely managed drinking water for all citizens.


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