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Stakeholders canvass creation of Ministry of Water Resources in Lagos state

Babatunde Fashola, Lagos State Governor

Stakeholders in the water supply and sanitation sector in Lagos state have canvassed for the creation of a Lagos State Ministry of Water Resources to facilitate the development of the sector in the state.

Rising from a one day  workshop this Wednesday in Lagos, the stakeholders comprising officials from government agencies, development partners, civil society organisations and user communities also recommended the creation of a Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency in Lagos state to take charge of Rural Water Supply and Sanitation service delivery

The one day stakeholders’ validation Workshop was convened to deliberate on the 3rd draft Lagos State Water Supply and Sanitation policy developed with the support of the National Urban Water Sector Reform  programme.

Welcoming participants to the meeting the Group Managing Director of the Lagos Water Corporation, Engr Shayo Holloway said the workshop was convened to bring together all stakeholders to make meaningful contributions towards the development of the a WSS policy for the state.

Said Holloway: “The overall objective of the policy framework is to develop appropriate Water supply and Sanitation legal instruments that will enhance sustainable Water Supply and Sanitation service delivery in the state”; adding that, “ this workshop is very important to the attainment of  the  project objectives under the 2nd National Urban Water Sector Reform Programme (NUWSRP)”

 In his Keynote address Lagos State Commissioner of Environment , Mr. Tunji Bello  represented by the Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Environment, Mrs Titi Anibaba regretted that past efforts of the state government to “improve service delivery in the water and sanitation sector was being hampered by the lack of as state water and sanitation policy which would have been the platform  for marshalling out a plan of action to develop the sector”.

He expressed hope that the policy “will serve as a catalyst to develop the vast water resources in the state in a socially responsive, economically sound, and environmentally friendly manner”, assuring that “ the Lagos State Government remains committed at the highest level to translating this policy document into programmatic action to develop efficiently and manage the water resources in the state”.

Addressing the gathering, the National Coordinator, National Urban Water Sector Reform Programme (NUWSRP), Federal Ministry of Water Resources (FMWR), Engr. Benson Ajisegiri said the Federal Government is supporting five project states of Cross River, Ogun,  Lagos, Kaduna and Enugu to develop appropriate Water Supply and sanitation Policies that will enhance sustainable water supply and Sanitation services in each state; “This is part of the overall objective of the NUWSRP increase access to piped water networks in selected urban areas and improve reliability and financial viability of Water Supply Agencies of the Project State”

 The reform officer of the Lagos Water Corporation, Mrs. A Aina, in her speech, outlined the activities that have taken place over the past two years towards developing a Water Supply and Sanitation policy for the state.

The Consultant appointed by the NUWSRP to develop the policy document, Mr. Babatope Babalobi thereafter made a presentation  of the Water Supply and Sanitation policy highlighting its contents and expected roles of all stakeholders; and this was followed by comments and discussion by participants.