•From left: Dr. Oteri; Mr. Ale; Arc. Abdullahi; Mr. Konyebagu Raphael and Mr. Somiyewo Okikiola at the event
Unless urgent steps are taken, Lagos State may run short of fresh water, experts have said. They say there is a serious threat of its water being polluted by sea water. The situation, the experts warned, could further be compounded as a result of indiscriminate drilling of boreholes littering the littoral state.
Speaking at a two-day retreat organised for stakeholders in water business in Lagos, the Executive Secretary, Lagos State Water Regulatory Commission (LSWRC), Mr Kabir Abdullahi, siad: “Lagos is surrounded by salt water and we are currently experiencing salt intrusion into the fresh water bodies because of this illegal drilling. If this continues, it means the fresh water that we have, especially in Lekki axis, will be destroyed and we must arrest such development.”
The theme of the retreat was: “Lagos State Ground Water Quality Control Regulation”.
Consequently, the Commission has begun the registration of borehole drillers. This, Abdullahi explained, is to put a stop to the indiscriminate and shoddy drilling of boreholes by quacks. For instance, he observed that several boreholes are dug at a spot which may be close to cesspit and the sewage from such has been found to contaminate the water supply of many homes and communities. For him, this is the time to fully implement the Lagos Water Law of 2004 considering that it has passed through 10 years of testing.
Abdullahi, in a chat with The Nation said the Commission will soon embark on a survey of existing boreholes in the state to ascertain their state and water quality from them. Those that fall below standard, he assured, would be decommissioned.
While commending the Commission for the retreat, the National President, Association of Waterwell Drilling Rig Owners and Practitioners (AWDROP), Mr. Michael Ale, said the state has taken the lead among its peers in implementing a code of drilling. The initiative, Ale noted, would further help to prevent disasters such as earthquakes and outbreak of epidemic such as cholera in the state and the country at large.
Consultant hydrologist to the LSWRC, Dr. Akomeno Oteri, explained that just as all legal drilling of crude oil was registered with the Federal Government, all borehole drilling activities also would be registered with the state government.
At the end of the retreat, a communique was signed by all the stakeholders. Included in the communique were that steps must be taken to checkmate and regulate indiscriminate drilling activities by unlicenced, unprofessional drillers; haphazard water abstraction without recourse to the condition of the aquifer and water table; pollution of the ground water leading to increase in cases of water borne disease; and effect of climate change on the ground water.
SOURCE: THE NATION