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South African association urges FG to provide clean water supply

30 September 2013, 21:11

Abuja - Vic Botes, the Chief Executive, South African Association of Water Utilities (SAAWU), has urged the Federal Government to take practical steps to provide clean water for the people.

Botes made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the sideline of the third annual conference of the Nigerian Water Supply Association (NWSA) in Abuja on Monday.

He said that water production needed be seen as an economic venture for which service the citizens should pay to help maintain the system.

"I think first of all we must regulate the water supply so that everybody will get access to water

"It should be clean, there shouldn’t be the need to have special processes like the bottled water, and in terms of sanitation it should be provided.

"A lot of infrastructure should be upgraded and should be erected and constructed to meet those goals because when you have access to drinking water you will improve the quality of life of the people.

"One must look at it as a social economic viability system if you do have private participation in that development of water resources and sanitation services.

"If you are a private company you want to generate profitable bottom line compared to providing a service.

"You might look up to a situation whereby you sign up an agreement and look very carefully about the details in terms of the service you need to deliver.``

He said that future challenges should be addressed to ensure that water became available to citizens for domestic and industrial us

According to him, as the population is growing, environmental challenges are on the increase.

He spoke of the need to consider the desalination of sea water especially because the growing population and increasing environmental challenges had made access to clean water a necessity.

The chief executive said that as water resources were limited, energy cost was playing a major role in the desalination of sea water.

He added that sharing information and experiences could also help in knowing what others did to improve the supply of clean drinking water to the people.

 "I think what one can do is to share the information and the knowledge that we have gone through in the past 20 years in providing people with drinking water

"When we started, we didn’t have water that time, it was in the rural and remote areas of the country and people didn’t have access to water and sanitation.

"It is important that in Nigeria as well people have access to clean drinking water and also sanitation provision.

"So the government should assist by putting up funding in terms of a business plan, with strategic objectives and goals and measure those key performance indicators at the end of time.

"One must also ensure that people pay certain portion of money for that service so that you can continue with maintenance and establishment and keeping the system up and running.


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