A water expert and the National president of the Association of Water Well Drilling Rig Owners Practitioners (AWDROP), Engr. Michael Ale has called for provision of potable water supply to cushion the effect of COVID-19 as public and private schools will resume.
Ale added that this is most critical for government through CBN should support the private borehole drilling companies to provide clean running water for schools.
According to him, the association is ready to help government to implement the project with financial support and support from private individuals.
He also revealed that the present COVID-19 pandemic bedeviling the world had showed that government must provide running potable water for human wellbeing.
Speaking recently in an interview with some journalists, Ale stated that with COVID-19 pandemic presently ravaging the world, it shows government, corporate and concerned individuals must do more in providing drinkable and running potable water to save human lives.
According to him, only about 54% of Nigerian population presently have access to potable water while other 46% are at danger of unclean water.
He said: “By year 1990, about 25% of Nigerian population had access to pipeborne water supply. And between 1990 to 2015, the population who had access reduced to 7% considering the fact that population had increased beyond 200million. We also need to consider landmass expansion where green areas are now being populated by buildings.
“So, my accessment is that, we are not moving forward and this is coroborated by World Bank, FG and NIBS. Talking about general supply of potable water, only about 54% of Nigerian population presently can access it and about 46% shortfall recorded.
“Although, this is increasing through intervention by government, private bodies and other individuals. You can see volume of underground water supply is more than surface water.
“Now, with the COVID-19 pandemic, it tells us that we needed to do more to save lives by having running potable water. We are looking at 100% access by 2030 and it is achievable if we put things right.
“Challenges of inability to provide potable water for populace are multidimensional and we have to look at the problem from the holistic perspective. The problem is population expansion and inability to control it. Because, population explosure leads to uncontrolled urbanization.
“Today, government priority is shifting from water supply unlike the past because they feel we have various means to get water. Government should roll out plans to control urban activities. For example, each house should run pipe to connect other pipes outside to ease water supply to homes.
“Water is a resource and it needs to be controlled because what is not controlled is not valuable. There is this issue of indiscriminate drilling activities. This can lead to Earth tremor, earth quake, building collapse and other environmental hazards.
“In controlling indiscriminate activities, we must be wary of water pollution especially now there’s issue of COVID-19 pandemic. A buried victim, if not properly buried, his or her body fluid can be washed into our well and contaminate them. That’s why most ailments come from lack of hiegene.
“If there is proper control, a borehole can be sunk in an area and serve about 500 houses and this can save cost and environmental degredation”, Ale explained.