The Association of Waterwell Drilling Rig Owners and Practitioners (AWDROP) also known as Nigerian Borehole Master Drillers Association has tasked the Minister of Water Resources, Engr. Suleiman Adamu to take drastic effort to regulate activities of borehole drillers in the country to be able to provide clean water for Nigerians.
The association which was led by its president, Mr. Michael Ale on Thursday gave this charge during a courtesy visit in the minister’s office.
According to the association, 783 million people do not have access to clean and safe water worldwide adding that 319 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa are without access to improved reliable drinking water sources.
He added, “Sub-Saharan Africa is among the regions with the greatest drinking water spending needs, with the greatest investment needs in rural areas. Two thirds or about 102 million of the 159 million people in Nigeria still using surface water in Sub-Saharan Africa while one in nine people worldwide do not have access to safe and clean drinking water”.
Ale said underground water is only considered during award of contracts to prequalified contractors, saying It is sad to also know that other Federal Ministries, agencies and parastatal whose mandate is not water even do more than what the Federal Ministry of Water Resources can put together yearly.
“This is not appropriate and should be corrected. Management of underground water is not only about contract awarding, unfortunately, the development partners have joined in this practice”, He stated.
The AWDROP president added that many local jobs have been lost to indiscriminate drilling which is perceived to be perpetuated by the actors in the Waterwell Drilling industry.
According to him, haphazard or indiscriminate drilling is an act of doing things randomly or without careful judgement saying, government is culpable of the act because the association didn’t have opportunity of constructive engagement with government and media.
He said: “We are businessmen doing professional jobs and client approach us for our services which we render with price tag. Our services are not free. Even governments and public alike award contracts and engage us to drill.
“Although, lack of proper regulation of the industry had caused many of us to act unprofessionally thus leading to so many abandoned Project 95% of such projects belong to development partners and government, because so much awards have been done indiscriminately by the parties concern”, Ale said.
He added that due to non passage of the current Water Bill into law, there is no law backing their operation for both public and private actors to abstract water from underground.
He said: “We have all been carrying out illegal and suicidal operation and it’s time we rescind on our decision to continue on the act”
The aim of the visit according to the drillers was to discuss issues bothering on Data Management, Regulations & licensing of borehole drilling and rig operators in Nigeria.
The Honourable Minister while receiving them informed them that a Committee to guide drilling operations in Nigeria will be set up comprising professionals from the NWRI, NIWRMC and AWDROP. He emphasized on the need for the quick passage of the Water Resources Bill to enhance the socioeconomic development of the Country.
AWDROP EXCO members during the visit include: Richard Adeyinka, (National PRO AWDROP) Senator Ali Modu Sheriff former Gov. of Borno;
Engr Dayo Opeyemi, (National Vice President AWDROP), Lana Edwards, and Alhaji Muktar Garba.