The Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, who has been in power for ten months, declared on Tuesday that the State Government is putting in place what it takes to meet up and exceed the projected 733 million gallons of water supply for residents of the State by 2020, the year, if reelected, he will be starting his second term in office.
The Lagos Water Corporation (LWC) produces only 33 percent of water consumed in the state.
Ambode said the present administration has opened its windows for both local and international investors under its Public-Private Partnership initiative in addition to the expansion of its existing water works and creation of additional water works to make water supply adequate for its residents.
Ambode’s keynote address at the 2016 World Water Day celebration, themed “Water and Jobs”, at the Excellence Hotel, Ogba, on Tuesday, was read by Commissioner for Environment, Hon. Babatunde Adejare, made this known while delivering a
Ambode, who acknowledged the deficit in supply of water to residents of the State, said in his address that the intention of government is to discourage the drilling of boreholes by individuals because of its inherent danger and risk to the environment.
He said that the cost of drilling bore holes or patronising illegal water sellers is far more expensive and dangerous compared to getting water from the government.
While assuring that the 2020 set target for adequate water supply for residents of the State is very achievable, Ambode maintained that the cost of building water works runs into billions of naira hence the need for corporate organisations to assist government in meeting the water needs of over 21 million Lagos residents.
The Executive Secretary of Lagos State Water Regulatory Commission, Arc. Ahmed Abdullahi said the yearly programme provides government the opportunity to draw the attention of concerned stakeholders and the general public to the importance of fresh water and how the limited potable water made available by government could be sustainably conserved.
Speaking on the theme of this year’s celebration, Arc. Ahmed said that emphasis should be placed on the two-way relationship between water and decent work agenda in the quest for sustainable development.
According to him, “Today, out of the three billion global work force, about 1.5 billion work in water-related sectors and nearly all jobs, regardless of the sector depend directly or indirectly on water. Yet, despite the indelible link between jobs and water, millions of people whose livelihoods depend on water are often not recognized or protected by basic labour rights”.
“The availability and quality of water has a direct impact on workers’ lives. Every year over 340,000 workers die because of inadequate water supply and sanitation”.
He revealed that the highest water quality produced in the state today which constitutes about 33% is from the Lagos Water Corporation (LWC), adding that the remaining 67% is however sourced by private, public partnership (PPP) through water abstraction and impoundment.
In his presentation at the event on “Water for the People, Water by the People”, Dr. Akomeni Oteri of Akutegeo Ltd said that the State government is yet to meet up with the water needs of Lagos residents due to the increasing daily population of the State.
He canvassed for massive investment in water supply and waste water management, stressing that half of the world population relies on water related jobs as means of sustenance.
Dr. Akomeni opined that same attention being given to crude oil which does not benefit majority of the population directly should also be given to water as a source of revenue.