The Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, has disclosed that his ministry budgets about N1bn annually for the supply of water and sanitation services to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) ravaged by the activities of insurgents in the North-East.
Adamu also stated that the Federal Government was working out measures that would enable it transfer water from River Congo to Lake Chad in order to prevent the lake from drying up.
The minister disclosed this when the United Nations Deputy Secretary-general, Mrs. Amina Mohammed, paid him a courtesy call in Abuja.
According to a statement issued by the ministry’s Director of Information and Public Relations, Margaret Umoh, the Minister informed the Envoy that the Ministry is committed to ensure regular water supply in all the IDP camps across the country. The Ministry, he maintains, puts in extra efforts to ensure that bore holes and other sources of water to the displaced persons are at optimal functionality at all times.
Speaking on the cooperation between Nigeria and the UN as regards reintegrating citizens ravaged by the insurgency in the North-East, Adamu stated that the ministry had been budgeting about N1bn annually for water supply and sanitation facilities for IDPs nationwide.
He said the N1bn annual budgetary allocation had been on since the past two years, adding that the Federal Government on behalf of other governments of the Lake Chad Basin Commission was planning an international conference to proffer solutions that would save the Lake Chad from drying up.
The Conference, he said is scheduled for next month in Abuja.
Adamu stated that the main objective of the Conference was to find workable solutions in recharging the drying up of the basin.
He said: “In the next 50 to 100 years from hydrological perspective, if nothing is done now, the lives of the people of that region that depends on the lake as their source of livelihood would be in danger as the Lake faces extinction.”
The Minister proposes for cheaper and workable solutions to saving the Lake from extinction. According to him, the MoU signed between, the Lake Chad Basin Commission and the Power China International Group Limited in April 2016 to save Lake Chad from drying up, can be actualized by the transfer of water from the Congo Basin to the Lake Chad Basin.
Adamu said that study done by the company shows that it is technically feasible to transfer water from river Congo to Lake Chad thereby increasing the level of the Lake. This, according to him, would halt the receding of the Lake and the drying of the north basin due to climate change.
In her address, Mrs. Mohammed, said that the purpose of the high-level mission which was an informal consultation on political, human rights, humanitarian and development issues will help scale up UN presence in the North East in particular and Nigeria in general.
She said UN is more committed in the re-integration process on-going in the North East as well as in the planned Conference of Saving Lake Chad that is scheduled for February, 2018. She charged Heads of States and Governments of the Lake Chad Basin Commission to consider passing the resolutions of the Conference in a communiqué to the African Union (AU) for further action.
Myke Uzendu, Abuja