By: Olajide Toriola
The Ogun State Government has commenced the groundwater abstraction control scheme in bid to regulate potable water for peoples’ consumption as well as controls environmental degradation.
This, Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, said, would have more positive impact on both short-and long-term run.
The governor, represented by his deputy, Chief (Mrs) Yetunde Onanuga stated this at a stakeholders’ meeting on water abstraction control scheme, held at June 12, Cultural Centre, Abeokuta, Ogun State Capital.
He emphasized that groundwater was what the people needs all over the world and it is imperative for both humans and animals in order to survive as bodies could not function without water, noting that water was essential in assisting growing crops, powering equipment, and to keep people comfortable.
He added that 80 percent of groundwater was in the private sector and presently no real restriction or control on its extraction.
He said government was now set to take full control and regulation of all activities of water extraction in the state, noting that in monitoring their activities it would even guaranteed potable water produced for the peoples consumption and free from water borne disease.
“Anybody can install a borehole anywhere in his land and extract any amount of water at anytime without consideration of its detrimental effects to the society, ground water is the largest source of usable, fresh water in the world, but in many part of the world, especially where surface water supplies are not available, domestic, agricultural and industrial water needs could only be met by using the water beneath the ground”, Amosun said.
Amosun said the process of water subject to uncertainty because of the inherent imprecision in long-term aquifer water balance, saying that the average unit drainable storage of depleted aquifers and the proportion of extracted groundwater remaining in the local micro-climate.
In the same vein, the Commissioner for Environment, Mr. Bolaji Oyeleye stated that the importance of water in society especially to human beings could not be over-emphasized, noting that water was inseparable nexus with life.
He said it was widely recognized that the role and services provided by groundwater to fulfill the growing water needs was not well appreciated by concerned stakeholders, noting that more efforts were required to make groundwater issues more visible among water resource managers, planners, policy makers, stakeholders and end users.
“It is imperative to organize this stakeholders’ meeting to talk about the control of water extraction, protection of our water with particular focus on the groundwater resources of the state, and there is urgent need to protect and preserve the strategic importance of groundwater resources to safeguard livelihood from future water crisis and enhance water quality and security,” Oyeleye said.
He said to achieve the principal objective of the scheme, which was groundwater management and control for sustainable utilization, the license and permits would be imposed on relevant and appropriate responsibilities on borehole owners in order to make them exploit the wells sustainably and with the full knowledge that the groundwater resource was not there to abuse at will.
Oyeleye said that the major aims of water abstraction control scheme was to provide a platform for data gathering on the various groundwater abstraction facilities in the state, either existing ones or those to be drilled in the future in order to take full control of their activities.
In his goodwill messages, the President, Water Drillers Association, Engr. Wole Adekoya, described the scheme as a round peg in the round hole, saying that if the scheme properly implemented, it would put stakeholders on their toes and drive maximum benefit from groundwater resources.
Also, the National President, Association of Table Water Producers (ATWAP), Mrs. Clementina Etebe, said members of the association would not object to any rules and regulations of the scheme, especially that would boost their business.