The President, Borehole Drillers Association of Nigeria (BODAN), Mr Frank Uzoma, has criticised the Lagos State Government’s decision to enforce charges and permit for commercial use of boreholes.
Uzoma told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday that boreholes were providing potable water for Nigerians, since potable pipe-borne water is nonexistent.
According to him, all tiers of government must deliberately prioritise access to water, saying a large number of Nigerians don’t have access to it.
“We are condemning this policy because 80 per cent of Lagosians, depend on boreholes, so if that policy becomes effective, what alternative have they put on ground.
‘‘Are the taps running? No, they are not, the people need to live, and water is life.
“What alternative has been put in place? Is the water board effectively running in the state? So that new policy cannot be sustained because borehole is meeting the need for water.”
He urged the state government not to criminalise provisions of borehole water, saying that borehole was the only option available for survival.
Uzoma contended that groundwater control is the sole responsibility of the Federal Government.
He said the association has commenced the implementation of the National Drilling Code of Practice to check arbitrary drilling of boreholes and protect the nation`s groundwater resources.
He said the code of practice specifies the minimum requirement for drillers, supervising personnel and equipment to ensure cost effective construction of water well.
Uzoma said that the development of groundwater was one of the sources of interventions to attain water supply for all Nigerians.
He stressed the need for stiffer penalties to punish quackery in the system.
The president urged Nigerians to patronise only registered borehole drillers, saying this was the only way the country could do away with unsystematic drilling of boreholes.
NAN recalls that the Lagos State Commissioner for Environment, Dr Babatunde Adejare, had said that the state government would apply charges as a measure of control for commercial users of boreholes.
The commissioner said the government recognises the need to minimise the pollution of the underground water by controlling indiscriminate sinking of boreholes, which, he said, is a contributory factor to pollution.
“No responsible government would fold its arms and allow uncontrolled pollution of underground water through indiscriminate sinking of boreholes.
“By controlling sinking of boreholes, we would have done a lot to curtail the outbreak of water borne diseases,” he had said.
Adejare was also quoted as saying that the state government target was to minimise underground water pollution and curtail water-borne diseases. (NAN)
Edited by Mustapha Lamidi/Felix Ajide
Posted in Environment |