By Chuks NZEH
Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Muhammad Bello Umar, has said about 65 percent of people who live in the rural areas have little or no access to sustainable safe drinking water.
The Permanent Secretary, who was represented by the Director, Department of Rural Development, of the ministry, Daniel Udo, at an event to commemorate the World Water Day, under the theme: “Leave No One Behind” yesterday in Abuja.
He noted that, ” Of the 51percent of people living in rural areas, about 65 percent have little or no access to sustainable safe drinking water and sanitation.
Umar added that, Many walk several kilometers every morning and evening in search of water, while others depend on polluted water from lakes, rivers, shallow boreholes or floods for domestic use.
Inadequate water supply results in food shortage and water borne diseases.”
The National Coordinator, Agro-Rural Water Supply Support Imitiative, A-RUWASSI, Engr. Michael Oludare Ale, in his presentation said the Department of Rural Development through the Presidency, saw the much needed opportunity to make more rural people have access to water and they see the need to empower the local Nigeria Master Drillers, hence they came with an idea of A-RUWASSI.
On his part, Director National Open University of Nigeria, NOUN, NURTW Special Study Centre, Prof. Ibikunle Tijani, admonished the Ministry to “sustain human capacity development through training and re-training is important to keep abreast of latest requirements in the field. Periodic review of benchmarks and projects in rural Water availability and supply.”