Abuja - The Federal Ministry of Water Resources has embarked on plans to embark on waste water management to boost sanitation, health and water supply in the country.
Mr Samuel Ome, the Director, Water Quality Control and Sanitation (FMWR), disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Thursday.
According to him, the migration of people from the rural into urban areas has made the decision imperative as the demand for adequate water supply is now on the increase.
He noted that many urban settlements lacked hygiene facilities, resulting in open defecation.
He explained that open defecation posed a threat to the people as the feaces was eventually washed down into drinking water sources.
He said that the ministry intended to turn that waste water produced washing, bathing or flushing the toilet into wholesome water for consumption.
"Waste water management is an area we are considering, to see how best we can manage it, because in urban towns, we have a lot of urban settlements coming up, take for instance the Nyanya and Mararaba areas.
"People eat, defecate and do all those things; still the seaway will be running and they are on top eating and drinking.
"Curtailing and addressing such behaviour is a major issue, so these are the things we say we are looking at, to see how it will work," he said.
Ome said that by 2050, 70 per cent of Nigerians would be living in the urban areas while the remaining 30 would be in the rural areas, unlike the current 50-50 distribution.
He further said the percentage as at the last 20 years was 30 per cent urban dwellers to 70 per cent rural dwellers, predicting that there would be a reversal of the distribution by 2050.
"By 2050, all the problems associated with urban settlement will be building up daily in the urban towns because the trend is reversing.
"More people are coming to the urban, so the issues of water supply and sanitation will be in greater demand."
He said in achieving this task, the ministry would use the water treatment method, whereby you treat waste water to a certain level that is acceptable before sending it back into the rivers or when water is scarce you treat and re-use the waste water.
He also said that after the treatment, the water would be released into the system and it would be suitable for human consumption and agricultural purposes.
Ome added that this venture would serve as a veritable tool for climate change adaptation.