FG MOVES TO GUARANTEE WATER AND FOOD SECURITY THROUGH THE MAINSTREAMING OF INTEGRATED RIVER BASIN MANAGEMENT IN THE 12 RBDAs
The Honourable Minister of Water Resources, Engr. Suleiman H. Adamu, FNSE, FNAH, FAEng stated this while declaring opened the National Sensitization Workshop on Integrated River Basin Management organized by the Department of River Basin Operations and Inspectorate (RBOI) of the Federal Ministry of Water Resources, Nigeria in collaboration with the Regional Centre for Integrated River Basin Management (RC-IRBM) – Category 2 Centre under the auspices of UNESCO. The workshop was supported by the National Water Resources Institute (NWRI), Kaduna and the twelve (12) River Basin Development Authorities (RBDAs) held on 24th -27 September 2019, at Tinapa Lake side Hotel, Calabar. The Minister who was ably represented by the Executive Directive Director, National Water Resources Institute Kaduna, Prof E. A Adanu, FNAH FNSE stated that the obejective of the Workshop was to sensitize policy makers and operators in the Water Resources Sector, top level Managers of the 12 River Basin Development Authorities and other key Stakeholder on mainstreaming of IRBM principles at the catchment levels in Nigeria.
The Minister in his Keynote defined “Integrated River Basin Management (IRBM) according to Global Water Partnership Technical Advisory Committee as the process of coordinating conservation, management and development of water, land and related resources across sectors within a given River Basin in order to maximize the economic and social benefits derived from water resources in an equitable manner while preserving and where necessary, restoring freshwater Ecosystem”. In the view of the World Water Forum (WWF), IRBM is the most promising vehicle for employing the tools necessary to meet and overcome the global water crisis. “The adoption of IRBM in Nigeria will guarantee water and food security, healthy eco-system and social-economic development while minimising anthropogenic and related negative impacts on Water and the Environment”, says the Minister. Concluding his Keynote before declaring opened the Workshop, he enjoined participants to take advantage of the presence of the International Resource Persons invited from Africa, Asia and the Pacific, who were ready to share their knowledge and experiences with the Participants. The representative of the Honourable Minister used the opportunity to invite the Participants for a field visit to the UNESCO-approved Jabi Lake Eco-hydrology Demonstration Site in Abuja, FCT which is scheduled for Friday, 27th September, 2019 by the organisers of the Workshop.
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary Federal Ministry of Water Resources, Mrs Ekaro Comfort Chukumuebobo who was represented by the Director, Department of River Basin Operations and Inspectorate Mr. Adoyi John Ochigbo congratulated the Participants for the opportunity to attend the workshop which happened to be the first of its kind in Nigeria and urged them to pay rapt attention to the Workshop deliberations. The Director, Department of River Basin Operations and Inspectorate, Mr A. J. Ochigbo also used the opportunity to give the vote of thanks to mark the end of the Opening Ceremony. He expressed appreciation to the Honourable Minister of Water Resources for approving the Workshop and for making funds available for its implementation. He also thanked the Permanent Secretary, FMWR., the Executive Director, NWRI Kaduna; the Director, RC-IRBM; the Managing Directors of the twelve (12) RBDAs; the resource persons; members of the workshop planning committee; the media and the security operatives for their various roles and supports.
A total of 117 Participants drawn from the Academia, Government Ministries, and other key Stakeholders attended the Workshop.