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Water supply and Sanitation in Nigeria: the way forward

Resolutions at the 2nd National Water And Sanitation Conferenceheld at The National Water Resources Institute, Kaduna, 23rd to 25th March, 2011

1.0         PREAMBLE

The 2nd National Water and Sanitation Conference took place from 23rd to 25th March, 2011 and was declared open by the Executive Governor of Kaduna State, His Excellency, Mr. Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa, ably represented by his Deputy, His Excellency, Alh. Mukhtar Ramalan Yero.

The Keynote Address was delivered by the Honourable Minister of Water Resources, Chief Obadiah Ando who was ably represented by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Water Resources, Amb. (Dr.) Godknows B. Igali, OON.

The welcome address was given by the Chairman of the Governing Board of National Water Resources Institute, Alh. Mohammed Sabo Keana (Ciroman Keana).

The Conference, planned as an annual event, brought together stakeholders in the water and sanitation sector in Nigeria to exchange experiences and put up recommendations towards achieving the national development objectives and the MDGs targets.

The main theme of this year’s conference is “Water and Sanitation Sector Reform: Empowering the LGAs in Achieving National Development Objectives and the MDGs Targets”. The 3-day conference consisted of 3 plenary sessions, 5 technical sessions, 2 side events and exhibition that addressed water and sanitation issues in the following six sub-themes:

a)      Investments in WSS Infrastructure (Mechanism for Cooperative Governance);

b)     Service Sustainability (Capacity Building, Climate Change, Operation & maintenance, Innovative Technologies);

c)      Sector Performance Tracking;

d)     Scaling up Sanitation;

e)      Prioritizing WASH in Multi-Sectoral Development Framework; and

f)       Equity and inclusion (Gender, Youth Empowerment, Vulnerable Groups).

A total of 255 participants attended the Conference, representing ministries, extra-ministerial departments and agencies (MDAs) at Federal, State and Local Government levels, the academia, external support agencies, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and the private sector.

2.0         CONFERENCE RESOLUTIONS

Key recommendations from the various technical workshops, plenary sessions and side events were aggregated from which the following key resolutions were recommended:

  1. LGAs to domesticate the National Water Supply and Sanitation Policy and create Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Departments, adequately staff them and provide funds for their operations;
  2. The State Governments to put in place water quality monitoring and surveillance systems to monitor all water supply points in the States by committing  certain percentage of their budget for the purpose;
  3. The State and Local Governments to liaise with the Federal Government to carry out holistic survey of illegal mining activities as they affect drinking water quality in those areas;
  4. Results of research activities conducted by academic and research institutions should be forwarded to relevant stakeholders for implementation of recommendations;
  5. The village level operation and maintenance (VLOM) concept should be integrated into all rural water supply projects towards achieving sustainability;
  6. Consultations with all stakeholders should be intensified for effective adoption and implementation of Public-Private Partnership (PPP) in water supply and sanitation;
  7. State and Local Governments should embrace the Water Investment Mobilisation Application Guideline (WIMAG) framework for development of their water and sanitation infrastructures;
  8. For proper implementation of community-led total sanitation (CLTS), the LGAs should integrate natural leaders in the process and back the approach with adequate water supply for effective hygiene and sanitation practices by community members;
  9. Latrine design options promoted by governments and development assistance agencies should be environmentally friendly, socio-culturally acceptable, suitable for use by persons with disability and affordable to community members;
  10. The LGAs should embark on sustained and well organised sanitation awareness campaigns on the need for proper excreta and general waste disposal;
  11. The three tiers of government need to establish procedures that encourage timely and regular flow of funds for capacity development of WASH agencies;
  12. The National Water Resources Institute (NWRI) should organise sensitization and advocacy workshops for policy makers at all levels on the provisions of the National Water Supply and Sanitation Policy and the Strategic Framework of Rural Water Supply and Sanitation;
  13. The FMWR should develop policy and strategies for maximum utilization of surface water resources for the benefit of the people while discouraging exploitation of groundwater where feasible;
  14. The NWRI should support the local rig fabricators to organise themselves, standardize their operations and promote supply chain for vital components;
  15. Government should hasten the implementation and enforcement of the recently developed National Code of Practice for Water Well Construction in Nigeria;
  16. The National Water Resources Capacity Building Network (NWRCB-Net) is fully acceptable by the partners, thus, the Federal Government and Development Assistance Agencies should increase support for its development and operations;
  17. The NWRI should embark on extensive sensitization of and advocacy to the water and sanitation stakeholders for the adoption and utilization of the services of the NWRCB-Net;
  18. All water resources facilities, materials and equipment for use in Nigeria should be subjected to examination for certification by Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) before adoption by governments;
  19. The CSOs should create a platform for engagement with policy makers and development partners to discuss issues required to meet the MDGs targets for water and sanitation;

20.  The FMWR should commence the processes for the domestication of the UN Declaration on Water and Sanitation as human right;

  1. The NWRI should develop and offer capacity development courses for the CSOs and further empower them by providing them with research findings for informed and evidence-based advocacy.

3.0         APPRECIATION

The conference Participants expressed their profound appreciation and gratitude to Mr. President, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR for his commitment and determination to ensure improved water and sanitation service delivery to every citizen of Nigeria.

The Conference also expressed gratitude and appreciation to His Excellency, Mr. Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa, Executive Governor of Kaduna State for graciously accepting to be the Special Guest of Honour and for declaring the Conference Open.

Dated this 25th day of March, 2011 in Kaduna, Nigeria.

Dr. O.. Bamgboye

Executive Director, National Water Resources Institute, Kaduna

on behalf of the Conference Participants

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