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FG Launches Water Quality Management Documents for Surveillance, Safety Consumption

The federal government of Nigeria has identified the importance of clean water and launched Water Quality Management Documents to safely manage drinking water services, and contamination of drinking water at the sources and points of consumption.

However urged all States and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to join in implementing the VLOM (Village Level Operations and Maintenance) Strategy to ensure the functionality and sustainability of all water supply facilities nationwide.

The two documents are the Nigerian Roadmap for Water Quality Management’ and ‘the Guidelines for Rural Drinking Water Quality Monitoring and Surveillance.’were developed in collaboration with the National Core-group on Water Quality (NACOWQ), UNICEF and other stakeholders.

This was revealed in a press release signed by Mrs. Funmi Imuetinyan, Head, Press and Public Relations on Tuesday.

The Minister of Water Resources and Sanitation, Engr. Prof. Joseph Terlumun Utsev, who was represented by the Director,Water Quality Control and Sanitation, Mrs Elizabeth Ugoh, revealed that these documents are a testament of Federal Government’s commitment to ensuring the availability of safe and clean drinking water to all Nigerians as they provide a comprehensive framework for sustainable water resource management, which is critical for public health protection.

Prof. Utsev further noted that these initiatives align with the commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 6, which encompasses eight outcome-oriented targets to promote the sustainable management of safe water resources.

He revealed that despite the progress made in recent years, the statistics from the 2021 Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene National Outcome Routine Mapping (WASHNORM III) report shows that there is still much work to be done, adding that the report revealed that a significant portion of the population lacks access to safely managed drinking water services, and contamination of drinking water at the sources and points of consumption is still rampant.

Minister expressed optimism that the launch of these two key documents signals a proactive response to these challenges and recognizes the need to expand access to improved water sources while implementing measures to ensure water safety from the source to the point of use.

He also added that these documents will provide a clear direction and action plan for water quality management in line with SDG 6 and also informed that the documents will empower communities to manage their drinking water effectively with implementable policies, strategies, and frameworks that are pivotal for addressing the identified challenges.

Professor Utsev inaugurated a three-day National Village Level Operations and Maintenance (VLOM) Strategy Sensitization Workshop and emphasized its critical role in ensuring safe and sufficient potable water for rural communities while urging States and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to actively participate.

He noted that the success of these initiatives requires the collaborative efforts of various stakeholders, including the support and buy-in of the states, the academia, Community-Based Organizations (CBOs), Non-Governmental Organizations, and the Private Sector and urged all stakeholders to work together to ensure the smooth implementation of these documents for improved access to quality water across the country.

The Permanent Secretary, Mrs Didi Walson-Jack, represented by Director ll, Water Quality Control and Sanitation, Mr Habu Jamilu noted that the decision by the new administration of His Excellency, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, to expand the Ministry’s responsibilities to include Sanitation underscores its commitment to prioritize both Water Resources and Sanitation.

She added that it is the duty of the Ministry to align efforts with the initiatives and activities of the government’s vision and stressed that the timing of these two important activities is well-suited to support this commitment of realizing the government’s objectives through the enhancement of water quality and safeguarding of public health across the Nation.

In her goodwill message, Dr. Jane Bevan, UNICEF Chief of WASH, expressed deep concern over the revelation that 68% of Water sources are contaminated.

She highlighted the crucial role of water in people’s lives and stressed the urgency for immediate action and collaboration across all government levels.

Other development partners of the Ministry, including USAID, World Bank, UNESCO, NEWSAN, WHO, TCF, and WaterAid, also conveyed goodwill messages at the event.

The event was attended by various State Commissioners of Water Resources, General Managers of State Water Boards, Permanent Secretaries from some State Water Resources Ministries, and other Stakeholders.

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