Rep. of the VC, former DVC (Development), Prof. Segun Lagoke (centre) explaining some points to the participants of the first Management meeting of the NWRCBN
The Vice-Chancellor, University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (UNAAB), Professor Oluwafemi Olaiya Balogun, has observed that affordable, abundant and potable water is essential for the development and existence of human beings.
Professor Balogun, who was represented by the former Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Development), Professor Segun Lagoke, stated this at the first Management meeting of the National Water Resources Capacity Building Network (NWRCBN), last Tuesday.
The Vice-Chancellor decried the fact that almost 900 million people still do not have access to potable water, with 85% of the affected population living in rural areas.
“According to a report of Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP, 2010) of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), 1.1 billion people in the World currently do not have access to clean and safe drinking water sources”, stated the Vice-Chancellor.
Professor Balogun then advised for a concerted effort of all stakeholders, in order to achieve the goal of improving significant access to affordable and safe drinking water by 2015, as proposed at the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Summit of 2000.
He therefore advocated urgent inclusion in policy formulation, steps and strategies that could accelerate improved services in the provision and supply of good water quality standards, at levels that will be affordable and accessible to all.
Professor Balogun also urged the partnering institutions that are currently hosting the zonal networks to efficiently manage the facilities, to provide the capacity required in the water sector.
In his brief speech, the Executive Director, National Water Resources Institute, Kaduna, Dr. Olusanjo Bamgboye, expressed appreciation to the University Management for its co-operation with the Institute.
He, however, listed funding for sustainability, adaptation of network models suitable for Nigeria and other West African states, strategy for membership expansion, among others, as part of the challenges confronting the Institute.