BusinessDay

Ogun partners Nestlé to address water sustainability challenges

…celebrates World Water Day

Ogun State Ministry of Environment in partnership with Nestlé Nigeria hosted a stakeholders’ forum to address the water sustainability challenges in the state.

The forum, which was one of the collaborators’ activities to mark this year’s World Water Day, also focused on the importance of freshwater.

World Water Day celebrates water and raises awareness for the 2.2 billion people living without access to safe water. It is about taking action to tackle the global water crisis. The theme for this year’s event is ‘Groundwater: making the invisible visible.’

In her remarks at the event, the Deputy Governor of Ogun State, Noimot Oyedele, who was represented by the Senior Special Assistant to the governor, Kola Salako, said: “World Water Day is a day in which the future of one of the most essential natural resources is explicitly reviewed for the good of the generations to come.

“Water is vital for survival. It is the life blood of human existence and our economy, hence, proper management of this resource is crucial. I encourage all stakeholders in the water sector to cooperate with the ministry for appropriate and sustainable management of water resources in the state.”

On his part, the Permanent Secretary, Ogun State Ministry of Environment, Razak Ojetola, commended Nestlé Nigeria for collaborating with the Ministry on the maiden World Water Day celebration in the state and for the strides of the company around water sustainability.

Read also: Why Nigeria lacks safe, clean water – report

He emphasised the commitment of Dapo Abiodun administration to the actualisation of access to clean water and sanitation for all in line with Sustainable Development Goal 6 and the sustainability of groundwater resources which is reflected in the establishment of the Ogun State Water Supply (Ground Water Quality Control) Regulations 2017.

Wassim Elhusseini, MD/CEO Nestlé Nigeria PLC, represented by Gloria Nwabuike, category and marketing manager Nestlé Waters, said: “Water is a shared and precious resource that we need to manage sustainably and conserve for everyone, today and for generations to come.

“The sustainability of shared water resources depends on all water users working together locally to address the shared water challenges, be it scarcity, quality or access. At Nestlé, we are committed to responsible water resource management as we rely on water throughout our supply chains and operations. We therefore recognise our role in helping to ensure access to safe water and sanitation in communities near our operations and will continue to invest in responsible water stewardship in our factories.

“Our approach to sustainable water management is in line with the globally recognised Water Stewardship frame works, ‘the AWS standard’ ensuring water-related best practices in our operations. We have committed to certify all our water sites to the AWS standard.

“Our Agbara site attained this status in 2021 and our Abaji factory will be certified in 2022”. “Our partnership with the Ogun State Ministry of Environment for this years’ celebration is in line with our commitment to work together with local and global stakeholders to address shared watershed challenges,” he added.

This year’s theme, ‘Groundwater: making the invisible visible,’ draws attention to the hidden water resource that has always been critically important.

Groundwater is invisible, but its impact is visible everywhere. The event also included a panel session particularly focused on Water Sustainability and Conservation in Agbara, with panelists from the private sector companies in Agbara including Nestlé Nigeria PLC, Reckitt Benckiser and Beta Glass as well as the public sector – Ogun State Ministry of Environment.

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