Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State and others, including E.O. Longe, a professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Lagos, have advocated the conservation of water, warning that the risk in not doing so, could lead to acute shortage which portends danger to human existence and the national economy.
They spoke at a one day workshop on ‘Ground Water Extraction in Lagos: Environmental and Health Impact’ organised by the Lagos State Water Regulatory Commission, a new body established by the Fashola led administration to regulate the usage and management of water resource in the state, with Tanwa Koya as executive secretary.
Fashola, speaking at the event which held on Tuesday in Ikeja, the state capital, said although the government has not made any policy pronouncement regarding the sinking of boreholes by households, there is the need for the citizens to be wary about the manner this is being presently carried out in the state. He said the sinking of multiple boreholes in homes, especially without experts’ advice posed great threats to the environment, adding it had grave implications on health and safety.
“We are not saying residents should not drill boreholes, we are saying get information before you drill. We are saying if you must drill borehole, it is possible that one could be enough for a whole street or two streets, do not drill too many so that we can share and preserve”.
Drilling too many boreholes leads to the over extraction of water from the ground and this has a negative impact on the environment. Indiscriminate drilling should stop for the sake of health and safety, he said. The governor also spoke against indiscriminate disposal of refuse into water bodies, which heightens contamination of groundwater, and pose danger to consumers.
“We have to be careful how we dispose of our wastes because these wastes generate poisonous by-products. These wastes don’t come from heaven, they come from the foods we eat, the paper and the nylon bags we use, they are generated by a whole lot of human activities. So we must continually tell ourselves that we must control and manage how we get rid of these wastes or else they will come back to us in forms that may be poisonous to our well being,” he said.
One of the speakers at the workshop, Erinosho A. E, a secretary with the state ministry of health, however, pointed out that the challenges of water supply in Lagos were more of policy and management issues and not lack of fresh water.