Federal Ministry of Water Resources in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Health and Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), have launched the Nigerian Standard for Drinking Water Quality (NSDWQ), which was approved in 2007. Speaking during the launch of the NSDWQ in Abuja, minister for Water Resources, Engr. Suleiman Adamu, said the standard sets limits for constituents and water contaminants that are hazardous to health.
He said the NSDWQ would also provide guides to meeting the mandatory limits and assigned institutional responsibilities including enforcement to stakeholders in line with their statutory obligations. Adamu however observed that much has not been done in respect to enforcement of the standard with water producers carrying on with business as usual without regard for the quality of drinking water supplied to the people.
“In the revised standard which we are launching today, the Federal Ministry of Water Resources has been assigned the responsibility of enforcement and we are working assiduously to speed the process of upgrading the water quality laboratories located at Lagos, Akure, Kano, Minna, Enugu, and Gombe alongside the completion of additional six laboratories in Maiduguri, Sokoto, Makurdi, Umuahia, Asaba and Port Harcourt,” he stated.
He expressed hope that the passage of the National Water Resources Bill, which is currently receiving attention in the National Assembly, will provide for effective management of drinking water supplies across the country. According to him, the holistic management of the entire water chain has taken into cognizance the contributions of other wash interventions such as positive change in the Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) and hygiene promotion as positive change in the community behavioral trend would certainly improve the quality of drinking water across the water chain.
“Compliance to the provision of the standard will help address the death of water quality data in the country, leading to generation of water quality data across the country that will be collated and used in populating the National Water Information System (NAWIS) housed in the ministry. This will aid the development of coherent public health-centered policies,” he concluded.