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Don advocates training of young people for sustainable water management



Prof. John Ohu, a Soil and Water Engineer, has called on state governments to promote sustainable practices and training of young people to manage water resources as it was a scarce commodity.

Ohu told the Nigeria News Agency that it was regrettable that the country had not been managing its water resources effectively, adding that there was need for training of young people to promote Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) principles.

“The main thing now is that all the states of the federation should realise that IWRM is very necessary for this country because we don’t know anything about water management, the capacity is not there.

“When we have floods for example, we don’t know what to do with the flood, everyone will just keep quiet, water will is wasted, whereas in many advanced countries, it is not so, they know exactly how they managed their resources.

“And for us in Nigeria, water is a scarce commodity that we need to get on with to know how to manage it, if not, there will be a time when we will have flood, and at another time, there won’t be water for the people.

“Almost all the states in the country have water vendors; where do they get the water from?. But because water is needed, they do not care, as long as they see the water they just use it, but you don’t know that the water is not good.

“All the state governments should make sure that they bring people for training,” he said

Ohu said that the training which takes place at the National Water Resources Institute (NWRI) in Kaduna, was only for students at the National and Higher National Diploma levels.

He noted that further discussions had led to the agreement  for more universities to be involved in the training at the Post Graduate levels.

He said that the UNESCO’s ‘Water For All’ programme saw the need for many countries to see what could be done to promote sustainability and efficiency in water resources, hence Nigeria’s involvement through the Federal Ministry of Water Resources.

He said that it was as a result of this that the Universities of Maiduguri, Ahmadu Bello,  Zaria, University of Illorin, University of Agriculture  Abeokuta, Nnamdi Azikiwe University and University of Calabar were chosen and given the requirement for hosting with the MoU signed at the NWRI Kaduna.

According to him, the Vice Chancellors for those six centres and their coordinators have all agreed that for the programme to become operational, all centres must have separate accounts which will receive funds through the NWRI from the World Bank.

He said part of the agreement was that counterpart funds would be made available and members of staff would be seconded to the centre from the universities.

“The World Bank through the NWRI will now be the one to renovate the centres and supply the equipment, equipment such as they have Hilux vehicles, generators, furniture, photocopiers and other materials for each of the centres,” he said.

According to him, states will have to send participants for training on weekend basis with the sole responsibility of paying the fees, adding that other logistics would be included.

“We have agreed that Masters programme should be common to all the six regions because that is an administrative cadre, but Post Graduate Diploma should be regionalised because what is happening in one region may not be what is happening in another, based on the needs.’’

Ohu, from the Dept. of Agriculture and Environmental Resources Engineering, University of Maiduguri, said that the top soil of the country was light and allows various kinds of pathogens to pass through its water, adding that consumption of such would lead to the outbreak of diseases.

Edited By: Chinyere Nwachukwu/Grace Yussuf

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Tosin Kolade: is a graduate and a professionally trained journalist, with experience in national news reporting/editing and verification at the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]

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April 2020