• Sunday, July 14, 2024
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Firm, Lagos seal deal to improve water access

Firm introduces device to enhance water access

The Lagos State government has sealed a deal with Resilient Water Accelerator (RWA) to improve residents’ access to water and build climate resilience.

Though Lagos is largely an island with large bodies of water, access to pipe-borne water in the state is so low that, according to available records, only 10 percent of the state’s estimated 22 million residents have access to piped water.

The partnership gave birth to the Lagos Water Partnership (LWP) which was inaugurated on Tuesday and is expected to mobilise private and public finance for water projects that will enhance climate resilience in vulnerable communities.

Read also: UNICEF: Access to clean water critical for development, peace

RWA is a programme designed to improve investment, water security and climate resilience in places like Lagos, by bringing together the public and private sectors, by catalysing finance around tangible solutions, and showing what can be done.

“Today is an important moment for me and the Resilient Water Accelerator as we have helped to initiate the Lagos Water Partnership. It is also an important moment for Lagos – a city of water – with huge water opportunities. Today marks a significant milestone in our collective journey towards securing a sustainable water future for Lagos,” Kate Hughes, CEO, Resilient Water Accelerator, noted.

Hughes noted further that climate change could sometimes sound like a distant threat, but its effects are felt daily in cities like Lagos. According to her, climate change is simply what is experienced by people, companies and ecosystems through flooding, drought, saline intrusion into drinking water, pollution of water from sewage, and sea level rise.

Climate change, she added, affects productivity, health, transport, jobs, ecosystems, livelihoods, property, and the lives of women and girls, pointing out however that there are huge opportunities too, especially in a thriving, entrepreneurial city like Lagos which is full of innovation, investment and inspiration. “This is a city where everyone understands the value of water,” she said.

Hughes said that Lagos is a city where $4 billion cost per year is incurred by the physical damage, loss of economic productivity and mortality from flooding, adding that 30 percent of Lagos is at high risk of flooding while $3 billion is needed to meet potable water infrastructure investment gap in five years

She said that people are paying for water and it is such that those getting water from a tanker can be paying 500 percent more than those getting piped water from the Lagos Water Corporation (LWC).

“Only 10 percent of the population has piped water. And the poorest are often paying the most for their water which is sometimes up to half of their daily income, she said, stressing that “the Lagos Water Partnership is about how we rise to this huge opportunity to build the resilience of Lagos, to improve people’s lives, and to show the world what can be done.”

Tokunbo Wahab, the state’s commissioner for environment and water resources, described the water partnership as a significant milestone in the state’s mission to enhance the environment and the water resources sector in the state.

Justifying the partnership, the commissioner said that city authorities globally often face resource constraints in addressing urban needs, making partnerships, collaborations and alliances essentials for drawing resourcefulness and providing vital city services.

“To support our efforts at transforming the environment and water resources sector, the ministry has created an enabling environment to attract partners and build strategic alliances.

In December 2019, under the directive of Mr. Governor, the ministry established the Technical Advisory Committee on the Green Climate Fund bid,” he said.