Economic hardship may lead to water scarcity, health issues — Borehole drillers

Benue Cholera, WASH
One of borehole taps.

By Adesina Wahab

The Association of Water Well Drilling Rig Owners & Practitioners (AWDROP) otherwise known as the Nigerian Borehole Drillers Association has alerted the government of water scarcity and possible health dangers occasioned by current economic hardship in the country.

The President of the association, Engr. Michael Ale, who said this on Wednesday, warned of the looming dangers of exposing vulnerable citizens to the health risks of consuming unclean water.

Ale maintained that Abuja, Taraba, IMO, Bauchi and others are states where scarcity of water is endemic, saying the cause is traceable to the high cost of drilling which mounts pressure on the government to provide potable water for its citizens.

He added that the development had given rise to individuals and corporate organizations patronizing unprofessional drillers which degenerates to haphazard drillings, while many operators engage in dubious acts.

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The AWDROP president, therefore, tasked the government to take drastic decision to address the anomalies before it gets out of hand.

He said: “Water scarcity is hitting many states now and the cost of drilling is getting high because of the exchange rate and the materials for borehole drilling, for example, Casings. Invariably, the cost of drilling is high which is mounting more pressure on the government to provide water.

“This scenario is making the vulnerable more exposed to health risk which will, in turn, make government spend more on health.

“My advice to the state where such instance is precarious is to have a Water Supply resilient plan where emergency response is prompt. It is important to also note that government has the responsibility to make water available to the citizens.

“States battling with water scarcity include Abuja, Taraba, imo, Bauchi and others and my call to development partners are to make a concerted effort in making sure the result for the programme they are supporting is sustainable.

“Finally, a decentralized water supply system is geared towards locations where there is no transmission pipeline hence access is still very important. This method will create employment opportunities for the youth through the training of various artisans on pipe repairs and plumbing works.

“Many water operators are now extorting Nigerians because of the demand in water supply while other borehole drillers have increased their cost of drilling because of the high cost of purchase of Casings for their drilling.

“Government can support the association to stem this extortion by supporting the drillers’ association as a means of subsidy for the masses. Many water schemes projects from government and agencies should be critically reviewed, if not, the projects are bound to fail.

“The Central Bank should also look into the forex in the materials for Casing. The cost of Casing, diesel and other material has skyrocketed, Government should also come to the aid of the citizens because very soon if nothing is done, Nigerians will carry placard for water. Let the operators within the water sector also stop the extortion”, Ale advised.

Vanguard News Nigeria 

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