Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Adamawa State have urged the Nigerian Government to dialogue with the Cameroonian government on how the two countries could mutually benefit from the River Benue.
Rising from a three day capacity building workshop organised by the Ministry of Water Resources with the support of the European Union, the CSOs in a communique, lamented that the construction of the Lagdo dam on the River Benue in Cameroon has almost dried up water flow into Nigeria, particularly affecting raw water intake by the Adamawa State Water Board (ASWB), in Northern Nigeria.
The ASWB abstracts water from River Benue through its water treatment plant in Jimeta, Yola; and services residents of the state.
The full text of the communique is reproduced below:
Communique Issued at the end of a three-day capacity building WASH advocacy workshop organized by the Adamawa State Ministry of Water Resources with the support of the European Union Water Supply and Sanitation Sector Reform Programme Phase III (WSSSRP III) for Civil Society Organizations in Adamawa State between 20th -22nd April 2015. Madugu Hotel, Yola, Nigeria.
After a brain storming session, participants of this capacity building workshop including representing thirty-two Civil Society Organizations including Non-Governmental Organization and Media organizations, came up with the following for reaching decisions on the way forward to develop the Water Supply and Sanitation sector in Adamawa state.
- Water Supply and Sanitation laws in the state are outdated and need to be reviewed to strengthen the operations of the WASH service providers, regulators, and policy formulators for optimal performance.
- Several challenges facing the sector are best resolved by the State Government. We therefore call on the government to prioritize the WASH sector through increased funding, and programme implementation.
- The Adamawa State Water Board needs to be adequately funded and granted increased administrative and financial autonomy to enable it effectively deliver its mandate.
- The Adamawa State Government as well as Local Governments in the state are requested to create a budget line for financing sanitation programmes.
- Regulatory structures should be established for monitoring service standards particularly water quality.
- There should be increased synergy between the civil society and state actors for effective development of the WASH sector.
- The WSSSRP III should launch the CSO grant component of the programme without further delay.
- The damning of River Benue upstream by Lagdo Dam in Cameroon has adversely affected raw water abstraction of the river by the Adamawa State Water Board. Nigerian Government should dialogue with the Cameroonian government to ensure both countries mutually benefit from River Benue.
- Adamawa State Water Board should introduce Water Safety Plans to ensure the consumers have access to safe drinking water.
- We express support for the Water Supply and Sanitation Reform Programme Phase III (WSSSRP III) and Call on the Adamawa State to pay its counterpart fund for the programme so that it could fully come on steam.