Mr Rufus Bature, the Secretary to the Plateau State Government, has advocated the resuscitation of moribund water basins in the country through cooperation among states.
He said cooperation among states with water basins had become imperative as water was needed for extensive agriculture.
Bature spoke on Monday in Jos at the opening ceremony of the technical session of the summit of the governors of the six Riparian States on the Hadejia-Jama’are-Komodugu- Yobe Basin Trust Fund (HIKYB-TF).
The summit was to focus on strategies for the resuscitation of the basin for which he said that the cooperation of concerned states was of great importance to the region and the international community.
He said that there were various issues and problems facing HIKYB-TF which were beyond any of the states’ capability if left alone.
The SSG said that one of such problems was the global climate change due to human activities which no single state could dissociate itself from.
He said human activities in relation to water resources and management in the basin had led to increasing water scarcity.
‘’The truth is that if it is not controlled, it can lead to increased poverty and insecurity problems especially in the region around the basin, ’’ he said.
He said that the reprisal problem had become a source of concern to governments of the six states, the federal and the international community.
Bature said this had led to the intensification of regional and international cooperation for the development of strategies to curb such threat to the human environment around the basin.
He said that Plateau in the past had suffered from ecological disasters such as flood and droughts which had threatened the lives, properties and economic activities of the people.
Cooperation, he said, would allow for deliberations and measures that would enable the six states to proactively combat these challenges.
Bature, however, said that suggestions, solutions, and recommendation on what action to be taken unilaterally to deal with the management of surface and underground water sources and socio-economic activities would emerge from the summit
NAN reports that the HIKYB-TF is a hydrological basin made up of Plateau, Bauchi, Kano, Jigawa, Yobe and Borno hosting the rivers that contribute to the water body in the Lake Chad from the Nigerian side.
NAN further reports that over 15 million people in these states critically depend on the scarce water resources of this basin.
Long term failure in the management of the river basin had led to the blockage of channels by silt and invasive weeds leading to inundation of thousands of cultivable hectares of land.
In an attempt to address the water resources challenges of the basin, the six Riparian States met in Yobe State in 2006 with the support of the Federal Government and HJKYB-TF was established.
The primary aim of HJKYB-TF is to establish a shared platform to provide a sustainable funding mechanism to address trans-boundary water management issues of the basin.(NAN)