HELD AT THE SCHOOL OF POSTGRADUATE STUDIES, AHMADU BELLO UNIVERSITY, ZARIA FROM 15TH -18TH SEPTEMBER, 2015
The opening ceremony of the conference with the theme “Sustainable water management in a changing environment” was held at the auditorium of the School of Postgraduate Studies on 16th September, 2015. The opening ceremony was chaired by the Director General of Nigerian Hydrological Services Agency, Abuja. The Vice Chancellor, Ahmadu Bello university Zaria, who is the chief Host, was represented by the Dean, Faculty of Science, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Prof A.K. Adamu. The Key note address was presented by Dr. E.A. Adanu, the Executive Director, National Water Resources Institute, Kaduna. Three Lead papers were also presented by seasoned professionals.
Participants from the academia, relevant agencies in the water sector such as NIHSA, NWRI, River Basin Development Authorities, FCT Water Board, Ministries of Water Resources and Environment at State and Local Government levels were in attendance. The total number of registered participants was 125. However in attendance were more than 200 participants. Over 64 technical papers in seven sub-themes were presented by participants drawn from over 25 Higher Institutions (universities, institutes, colleges and research centres).
At the end of the presentations, the following resolutions were reached:
The water resources potential of Nigeria is sufficient to meet the current and future demand for various purposes, but will require efficient and effective planning, development and sustainable management. This requires the appropriate number and quality of the required professional skills and manpower in the sector.
At present, Nigeria is not a water-stressed country but due to rapid population growth, increased economic activities, population migration and climate change, it will face serious water scarcity by 2025. The political will is crucial to the attainment of the objectives of the sector in meeting the planned targets.
Water scarcity will lead to unrest and likely conflicts. There are many agencies involved in water resources development and there is need to evolve a means to allocate water resources, reduce wastages, improve utilization efficiency and above all, evolve a coordinating policy to monitor and conserve resources.
Nigeria should lead in the project to recharge Lake Chad by transferring water from Oubangui River to save the lake from completely drying up.
Towards sustainability and project cost reduction, government should engage resources within the tertiary institutions for research, data collection and analysis in the planning, development and execution of water projects.
The impact of the trainings of the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Centre (RWSSC) is very encouraging and efficient. The Centre should be patronized by all in the areas of rural water supply and sanitation issues.
Current upstream and downstream flooding from the nation’s major rivers and reservoirs are not consequence of Climate Change alone but also consequences of reservoir capacity and river channel carrying capacity losses. Therefore, the Federal Government of Nigeria should make fervent efforts to construct check dams at strategic locations.
Reservoir operational rules are not meant to be static as presently is the case in management of Nigerian reservoirs but must be reviewed periodically to incorporate loss in capacities.
Cost of evacuation of accumulated sediments at the bottom of reservoir outweighed the cost of constructing new ones. At a current average unit rate of dredging of about N1,500 per cubic metre, it is evident that cost of evacuating the deposited sediments in any of the Nigeria reservoirs is a colossal for Agency of government that must mobilize available resources among competing demands.
The conference calls on the government at all levels to take the issue of sustainable water supply seriously, especially with the attendant management issues and environmental problems highlighted.
The conference organizers and executive committee of the NAHS thank the management and staff of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Chief executives of NIHSA and NWRI and other organizations which provided the needed assistance to make the conference a success. We also thank the Dean of the Postgraduate School, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria for providing the venues for the Opening Ceremony, Technical Sessions and the Annual General Meeting.