The Lagos State Water Corporation on Thursday said that the state government had evolved measures that would ensure equitable potable water distribution in the state.
The corporation’s Managing Director, Mr Adekunle Badmus, told journalists that globally there was shortage of potable water supply.
The LSWC boss spoke on the sidelines of the 11th Olu Awoyinfa Distinguished Annual Public Lecture in Lagos.
The theme of the lecture was “Forming Uncommon Partnership: Solution to Challenges of Developing Nations.“
Badmus said Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s administration was working on bridging water shortfalls in the state while harnessing the benefits of creating other value chains from water.
“We have a master plan in Lagos State which identified how much water is needed. The gap right now is about 500 million gallons. Whereby we are supposed to be producing 700 million gallons, we are only producing about 210.
“Lagos State is making water a priority. Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has focused on water.
“When he assumed office, he visited all our facilities and he has determined that before the end of his tenure, more people will benefit from safe and potable water in the state,’’ he said.
The managing director said that ongoing projects in the state had shown that the backwash from some water channels contained substances that could be used for fertilizers.
Badmus said that the residents desperation for water supply had led to the proliferation of boreholes in the state, despite the dangers involved in indiscriminate drilling.
The managing director also said that it was imperative for governments in the country to urgently address the water needs, adding that most borehole waters were often polluted due to various factors.
“We need to speed it up, we are still way behind in getting water to everyone that needs to get water. If we continue to delay then our lives will continue to be at risk, because the people who drill boreholes don’t care if the site was a burial ground, dumpsite or an old weaponry.
“Yes, there is usually casing for boreholes but they sometimes crack, there is what we call infiltration that goes into the water,’’ he said.
Badmus added that most borehole waters were contaminated from storm waters, ground waters and other sources which were harmful for human use.
While delivering his keynote lecture, Badmus called on Nigerian leaders to explore capacity of local engineers in addressing the nation’s water problem and other developmental challenges.
He called for partnerships between professionals in various fields to provide scientific solutions to various sectors of the nation’s economy for rapid growth and industrialisation.
According to him, developing local capacity would also remove capital flight and ensure growth of technology in various sectors.
Badmus said that COVID-19 and other current challenges had made the need for partnership with other professional bodies in problems solving inevitable.
“There is enough for everybody to be able to partner and to be able to carry this nation forward. To move Nigeria forward, we have to start to work with each other and bring everybody into the same room and find a way to be able to contribute,’’ he said.
Badmus listed various areas of collaboration in solving societal problems to include agriculture, infrastructure, engineering and other sectors.
He said there was pressure on health facilities occasioned by poor water supply and sanitation while stressing the need for urgent measures with COVID-19 pandemic to better address the problems of water.
“To deal with these challenges in developing countries, we must be innovative and form uncommon partnerships,” Badmus said.
He said that there should also be uncommon partnerships between Google and pharmaceutical companies, schools and banks to evolve digital platforms for carrying out activities.
Badmus said that there should be uncommon partnerships like the Lagos and Kebbi States LAKE Rice partnership that would be of mutual benefits..
“If we are to rid the developing countries of the many challenges encumbering them, then we must be innovative.
“We must begin to form uncommon partnerships across all sectors, from the health sector to the water supply and sanitation, to building infrastructure, agriculture, banking and so on.
“Uncommon partners will help us to succeed by providing us with capabilities we shouldn’t build ourselves, as well as with fresh insight.
“We should help uncommon partners succeed by creating a mutual relationship which both parties can prosper from,’’ he said.
The lecture, which was organised by the Ikeja Branch of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), also featured induction of new engineers and presentation of scholarship awards. (NAN)