World Rivers Day: Nigeria calls for protection of Rivers

By Hikmat Bamigboye, Abuja 

The Nigerian government has called for the protection of the nation’s Water sources from pollution particularly, the Rivers to enhance quality of surface water across the country.
Minister of Water Resources, Mr  Suleiman Adamu made the call in Abuja while addressing Journalists
on the maiden edition of the commemoration of World Rivers Day in the country.
Mr. Adamu noted that, regular and increased awareness on River protection and management would help reduce the level at which the nation’s Water sources were being polluted.
The Minister who highlighted the damage been caused by pollution in the nation’s Water Bodies, emphasised the need for individuals, corporate organisations and communities to refrain from acts inimical to the safety of Rivers which are major sources of surface Water for domestic use.
He explained that ”as part of efforts to protect Water bodies globally, the United Nations had in 2005, instituted the World Rivers Day to be observed on the last Sunday of September annually.”
Mr. Adamu further noted that, regular and increased awareness on River protection and management would help reduce the level at which water sources were being polluted.
According to him, ” Rivers also provide habitat for aquatic plants and animals.  In view of the above, it is evident that rivers play a very key role in the economic survival of any nation.
“The importance of the event cannot be over emphasised, given the benefits of rivers to the socio-economic life and well-being of all nations globally.  As we know, rivers supply water and nutrients to different parts of the earth for the sustenance of living organisms, while also acting as drainage channels for surface run-off water.”
 Report says Rivers drain about 75% of the earth’s land surface thereby providing transportation routes, source of energy, and fertile soil for farming.
In addition, Rivers play significant role in water cycle especially in the formation of rain apart from supply of food in the form of nutrients.
The Minister had planted an Economic Tree and supervised cleaning at River Wupa at Toge, a Community along the Airport Road in the  Federal Capital Territory, Abuja , as part of activities ahead of the World Rivers Day.
Further identifying the importance of Rivers to the provision of potable water for human activities, Adamu urged ”people of Toge and other adjoining communities to protect the River by avoiding activities capable of polluting the Water source.”
The Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Water Resources, Mrs Didi Walson-Jack and the Director in charge of River Basin Operations and Inspectorate, Mr. Adoyi Ochigbo had in separate remarks stressed the need for concerted efforts by relevant stakeholders to work with Government towards safeguarding the nation’s Rivers.
A representative of Toge Community, Mr. Sunday Bako who appreciated the decision of theNigerian Government to mark the maiden edition of World Rivers Day in the area, appealed for an improved Water supply in the area while promising total commitment by people of the community to protecting River Wupa.
The theme of this Year 2021 Celebration is “Waterways in our Communities” with particular emphasis on maintaining efficient river flow and hydrologic connectivity.



Mercy Chukwudiebere

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