By Tayo Taiwo, Abuja
The department planning and technical support services in the Federal Ministry of Water Resources has organised a two-day capacity-building workshop for the Project Monitoring Unit (PMU) and other critical stakeholders in the water sector on the content of the 2013 National Water Resources Masterplan.
The workshop was aimed at ensuring proper understanding of the master plan by the various technical departments, units and agencies of the ministry.
Addressing some directors of the ministry, resource persons and other participants during the workshop, whic commenced on Thursday in Abuja, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mrs Didi Walson-Jack, said the workshop was also aimed at building the capacity of critical stakeholders as well as measure key performance indicators (KPIs) and the template for tracking the level of implementation of the Plan.
According to her, the 2013 Water Resources Master Plan was approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on July 3, 2014 and it is expected to guide all developmental activities in the water sector.
She noted that the first National Water Resources Master Plan was developed by the Ministry in collaboration with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in 1995, to look into the development, utilisation and management of the water sector as well as agricultural production and food security.
The Permanent Secretary buttressed that for the volume of the master plan, it was a bright idea by the department for every individuals and other stakeholders to be enlightened on the implementation of the roadmap and also prepare for a mid-term review of same.
“It has therefore become imperative to carry out the holistic plan review in order to incorporate new developments and emerging realities in the Sector.
“These include among others, the impact of climate change; increasing water demand as a result of population growth and economic development; water quality monitoring to secure clean and safe water; effective utilization of the existing water source facilities in view of contemporary needs; promotion of sound and self-reliant irrigation development and enhancement of water related data/information and its uniform management.
“Water is life. It is very critical to every individual in the country. To deal with water resources, we have different stakeholders that play different roles to ensure that we have consistent water supply as well as deal with all the other issues in the water sector, Sanitation and hygiene.
“So what we are saying is that the roadmap has to ensure that there are adequate strategies and approaches to ensure synergy amongst all the stakeholders, so that at the end of the day, the implementation of the roadmap is seamless and delivered fully,” she stated.
On her part, the director of Planning and Technical Support Services of the Ministry, Mrs Alice Ojowu, noted that the 2013 Water Resources Master Plan document was due for review and she hoped that the workshop would bring better understanding with full engagement of the participants in line with prevailing realities in the country.
Also speaking, the former coordinating director, NIWRMC, Engr. R.A. Jimoh, who gave the overview of the document, pointed out five stages of the strategies in the master plan.
He as well expressed displeasure on the underfunding of the department which accordingly drags back the functionality and monitoring of the implementation of the master plan.