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April 15, 2024
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World Water Day: Lagos Pledges Action with New WASH Policy

BABAJIDE Sanwo-Olu, Lagos State governor, on Thursday unveiled the Lagos State Water, Sanitation and Hygiene policy to effectively harness, promote national and international focus on Water and Sanitation sector to ensure rapid expansion of access to water infrastructure in the State.

During the unveiling ceremony which was part of activities to commemorate the 2024 World Water Day held at Marriott Hotel, GRA, Ikeja, the governor said Water is essential for life and is also a powerful force for fostering peace and cooperation among communities  and individuals. 

The governor represented by Tokunbo Wahab, commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources,  said the theme for the 2024 World Water Day “Water for Peace” underscores the critical role that water plays in building bridges between people.

This is achievable by fostering cooperation and dialogue on water-related issues that transcend boundaries  thereby promoting understanding, trust, and mutual respect.

“In our pursuit of water security and sustainability, it is imperative that we embrace the principles of inclusivity and equity; we must ensure that all individuals, regardless of their background or circumstances, have access to clean water” he stated.

The governor said the launch of the  Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) Policy of Lagos State will serve as a guiding framework in the journey towards ensuring universal access to clean water and sanitation.

He added that the policy outlines a holistic approach to water management, encompassing strategies for conservation, pollution prevention, and equitable distribution.

 He said the implementation of the WASH Policy, will reaffirm government’s commitment to leaving no one behind in the  quest for water security and peace through improving water infrastructure, enhancing sanitation services, and empowering communities to take ownership of their water resources. 

He added that the ongoing activities of the Lagos Urban WASH program, supported by United States Agency for International Development (USAID) exemplifies the dedication of this administration to promoting water security and sustainability in urban areas through innovative interventions and partnerships.

He applauded the Lagos Urban Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (LUWASH) for currently supporting the Water Sector MDAs in various activities like the rehabilitation of five (5) Micro/Mini Water works for Lagos Water Corporation(LWC).

He listed others to include Capacity Building for Lagos State Water Regulatory Commission (LASWARCO) and supporting the development of a business case for Lagos State Wastewater Management Office (LSWMO).

“As we mark the year 2024 World Water Day, Let us pledge to work together, across borders and sectors, to ensure that water remains a source of unity rather than division; “Together, we can create a world where every drop of water contributes to the greater good, forging a path towards  peaceful and prosperous future for the residents” he said.

Also at the event the Special Adviser on Environment Olakunle Rotimi-Akodu said the equitable and sustainable management of water resources has the potential to address many of the root causes of social and economic inequalities.

He added that through investment in water infrastructure and technology, a condition for peace to flourish will be created.

He urged participants at the event to give a commitment to building a future where water is not seen as a source of division but as a symbol of unity peace and shared prosperity.

In his remarks, Prof Joseph Utsev, Minister of Water Resources and Environment,  represented by Shehu Shinkafi, permanent secretary, Federal Ministry of Water Resources,  said Water is a fundamental human right that sustains life, nourishes communities and forms foundation of our society saying that despite its abundance, access to clean water remains a luxury for many people.

He said the provision of good water has been confronted with unprecedented challenges ranging from escalating impacts of climate change to the growing demands of an expanding population.

He added that in all these, everyone must recognise the potential of water as a catalyst for cooperation, collaboration and peace building.

Present at the 2024 World Water Day were top government officials, academia, experts from civil society organizations.

 

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