Bread of life Development Foundation with the support of Department of Climate Change of the Federal Ministry of Environment, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and Government of Japan organised a High Level Panel Discussion on Climate Change, and Water supply and Sanitation, yesterday in Lagos Nigeria.
The event was attended by 21 representatives of stakeholders institutions including Professor Lekan Oyebande Chair Technical Committee West Africa Water Partnership, Mr Jones Awolowo of the Lagos Water Corporation, Engr. Adeyemo Adegoke of Lagos wastewater management office, Nornah Awoh of the Lagos State Ministry of Environment, Engr. Sanni Anibire of the Department of Rural Ware Supply and Sanitation -Lagos state Ministry of Rural Development, Abiola-Awe of the Federal Ministry of Environment, and Prince Lekan Fadina of the CISME. The media and civil society organisations were also represented.
Discussions centred on the following issues:
- Potential impacts of climate change on service providers in Lagos state- Water Supply/Sanitation, Urban/Rural, Public/Private
- Potential impacts of climate change on consumers in Lagos state -Household/Industrial
- Adaptive capacity of service providers and consumers to climate change in Lagos state
- Recommendations for Mitigation and Adaptation-Service providers/Consumers
Babatope Babalobi of the Bread of Life Development Foundation made a presentation on ‘Impacts of climate change on water supply and sanitation in Nigeria.’ Professor Lekan Oyebande submitted a discussion paper. Two Non governmental organisations- Centre for 21st Century Issues and Gender Environment and Climate Action Network (GECAN) submitted working papers.
At the end of the deliberations, participants agreed on the following resolutions:
- There is a need to increase stakeholder’s education and create awareness on the potential impacts of climate change on service providers and users in the water supply and sanitation sector in Lagos state.
- There is a need to conduct baseline studies to generate data and information on status of water supply and sanitation sector; and this should be updated regularly. This will serve as a basis for measuring/determining climate change impacts.
- Households and commercial offices should be encouraged too promote environmental greening and reduce pavement of the neighbourhood in order to encourage natural groundwater recharge.
- The high rate of salinisation of groundwater in Lagos has adverse effect on access to water. It also increases the cost of access. This need to be investigated further.
- Substantial percentage of the Lagos state residents access supplies through small scale private providers and self service. Their experiences need to be captured into the present study.
- There is a high rate of proliferation of boreholes leading to over abstraction and over extraction of water supplies in the state. Water demand management should be promoted and communal boreholes should be encouraged especially in estates.
- On site wastewater treatment should be promoted.
- There should be increase synergy between the government agencies, CSO, and consumers to tackle climate change.
- Basin approach should be adopted to investigate the potential impacts of climate change on service providers.
- The draft Lagos State Water supply and Sanitations should be climate change sensitive.
- Institutional guidelines and strategy papers should be reviewed to mainstream climate change issues.
- Water Supply and Sanitation governance structures i.e Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Committees (WASHCOMs) should be set up in all communities in the state. This should be used a platform to disseminate climate change information to rural communities.
- Water supply and sanitation agencies in the state should promote appropriate WSS technologies that at climate resilient e.g. Rain harvesting and Household water treatment.
- Development of water safety plans by service providers to respond/prevent to possible contamination should be encouraged in the state.
- Prioritisation of the WSS sector in national planning is critical to building adaptive capacity and this should be complemented by increased funding for the WSS sector.
- Lagos state government is encouraged to develop a technology for treating/desalinisation of the abundant sea water for domestic consumption in the future.
- The difference between climate change adaptation and adaptive capacity was stressed. The consultant was advised to investigate both the adaptive capacity of Water supply and sanitation sector and also recommend adaptation strategies.
- Networks of climate change agents in the water supply and sanitation sector should be established in the state.
- The private sector and Government should build symmetry to respond to climate change.
- The National Water Resources Bill pending before the National Assembly should be reviewed to mainstream climate change issues.
- An action plan and a timetable for the implementation of mitigation and adaptation measures in the water supply and sanitation sector in the state should be drawn and strictly followed.