The National President Association of Waterwell Drilling Rig Owners And Practitioners (AWDROP) Engr Michael Ale has advocated for more drilling of borehole and wells especially for the dwellers of rural area across Nigeria that are vulnerable to this great pandemic if effective action is not taken.
According to Engr Ale, “Many rural and Peri- urban areas are serviced either with the water from the stream or Wells that are contaminated and sometime with on-site off grid; mechanical Generator powered or hand pumps.”
“The main instruction from the WHO is to wash hands in the running taps without touching taps for hygiene purpose. But, where is the running taps especially in the village where many children have to daily visit a hand Pump facility and take a stroke by touching the handle before water can be made available for their house chores.”
The National President stated that stay at home order can only be effective in developed countries because their water infrastructures are piped, which is not same in developing country like Nigeria.
“Many houses in the rural area are running out of water. Who is their mouth piece?”
“They can’t air their view to the government, that’s why you cannot get any related views on scarcity or non availability of water during this pandemic.”
Engr Ale who is a consultant on water to many international organisations across the globe explained that government at all levels should as a matter of urgency embark on massive drilling of borehole which is the quick win to solving this presumption pandemic l, being one major preventive campaign strategy against the spread of COVID-19.
“The Federal Government in some of its ongoing awareness campaigns and jingles has been advocating and advising people to always wash their hands in running water, but the question is how many of such facility is on ground? ”
“Even some of the advocates and political office holders who had been at the fore front of this campaign are also seen washing their hands in water basin contrary to what they had been preaching to their followers?” This is not right, it exposes the weakness of the leaders in providing adequate infrastructure to the common man.
He said the association is ready to positively and effectively collaborate with relevant government, political office holders and Non Governmental Organizations (NGO) to ensure water for all emphasising the importance of water in human lives especially at this time that people are scouting for life, forgetting that Water is Life.
Engr Ale who is also a Development Practitioner also added that portable and affordable water remains one of the measures taking across the world to also curb community spread of COVID -19 which is now the next phase of the spread of the virus, and this can only be subdued with adequate provision of water, but the strategy must be adaptive.
He further said On-site Sanitation and environmental hygiene is being advocated by Water Sanitation and Hygeine experts around the world, especially in the rural area because of the need to get water from the public Boreholes.
Ale advised federal Government to provide water in schools, hospitals, markets, motor parks, religious centers and other places identified as public places, this gesture he said will sure help in post covid-19 sustenance.
Engr Ale reiterated that the government have the capacity to do more with less by subsidizing borehole cost for Nigerians through their Agro-Rural Water Supply Support Initiative (ARUWASSI).
Ale who is also the National Coordinator of this project which is a collaborative initiative between AWDROP and FMARD express satisfaction on the current capacity of the association to provide such assistance through the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, as more Rigs had been procured to Manage this current situation.