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World Water Day: NSE, NIEE, other stakeholders harp on importance of potable water

Rukiyat Ogunwade

The Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), Oyo state chapter, in collaboration with the Nigerian Institution of Environmental Engineers (NIEE) and other stakeholders in the engineering field, have come together to discuss the need for the provision of potable water for the survival of humans.

The Keynote speaker, Engnr. Joshua Akinola and the Guest speaker, Professor Adedayo Adegbola, made this call to the government and all stakeholders at the Engr. Gbola Tokun’s Memorial ceremony commemorates World Water Day, 2023, held on Wednesday at the NSE Secretariat, Akobo Ibadan, the Oyo state capital.

While speaking on the event’s theme, ‘Accelerating Change,’ Engnr. Akinola noted that Nigeria needs to prioritise data design to accelerate access to a potable water supply.

According to him, the progress in water supply in developed countries can be attributed to the level of priority they have given to data to help predict their future.

“Unfortunately, the reverse is the case in developing countries like Nigeria.

“How can we accelerate change when the data we even used to keep in designing changes are now lost and no new ones are being kept? No meaningful planning or change can take place in the absence of data,” Akinola lamented.

Also speaking on the theme of the memorial, Professor Adegbola, who is also a lecturer at Ladoja Akintola University, LAUTECH, Ogbomoso, Department of Civil engineering, lamented how decades of misuse, poor management and the over-extraction and contamination of freshwater and groundwater supplies had exacerbated water stress and deteriorated water-related ecosystems.

Professor Adegbola says this affects human health, economic activities, and food and energy supplies.

He said urgent action is needed to shift the current trend, ensuring a sustainable and equitable water distribution to meet all needs.

Professor Adegbola emphasised that safely managing access to potable water, sanitation and hygiene services are vital to human health.

He noted that “unless progress picks up speed – dramatically – millions will still lack essential services like potable drinking water, sanitation and hygiene services by 2030.

“Everyone on earth should have access to safe and affordable drinking water; that’s the sixth UN SDG goal for 2030.”

In their separate remarks, the Chairman NSE, Oyo Chapter, Dr Adekunle Olaoye and the Chairman NIEE, Oyo State Chapter, Engineer AbdulWasiu Ajagbe, noted that the event was organised in commemoration of the late Gbola Tokun, who the group celebrates for his tireless effort in restoring the Oyo state water corporation before his death.

They both noted that remembering him at such an event was significant to recognise his commitment to providing a safe water supply and emphasising the importance of water to human lives.

Also in attendance at the event were stakeholders, including a representative from the Oyo state water corporation, a representative of the ministry of environment, engineers, professors from the engineering field

World Water Day is a United Nations observance day with this year’s theme: “Accelerating the change to solve the water and sanitation crisis.”

The theme was designed to be a global campaign that encourages people to act in their own lives to change how they use, consume and manage water.




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