In its effort to sustain rural agricultural development, the members of the National
Executive of Borehole Master Drillers Association (AWDROP) on Friday met with
Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono to assist in
providing adequate water supply for rural farmers through a program tagged:
Agro-Rural Water Supply Support Initiative (ARUWASSI).
Speaking during the meeting with the minister, the National President of AWDROP,
Engr. Michael Ale commended the federal government through the ministry for
their involvement in underground water exploration, when their main mandate is to
grow agricultural products for the country.
According to him, this is necessary because agriculture takes 70% of our fresh
water out of which over 80% of the fresh water are from the Groundwater”.
He said: “Major subsistence and commercial Agricultural practices takes place in
the Rural area which makes Rural Development key in Sustainable Agricultural
practices. There can’t be sustained Agriculture production without Groundwater.
“We are aware of the effect of climate change on our world, which had resulted
into many vices and research on climate friendly agricultural practices. Which
ever way we may decide, Groundwater is key in sustained Agriculture practice,
especially in Africa where it takes years to adapt to new innovation and
technology and we are critics to change within the ecosystem.
“Nigerian farmers still find it difficult to practice all seasons farming, which
makes some product out of reach during the dry season, whereas all fruit, grains,
vegetables, tubers or fibers are produced all seasons in the developed world. This
effect has been made possible through the effective management of Groundwater
especially in the developed world. AWDROP has great expertise and potential in
the development and management of this great resources and is excited with the
current partnership with the FMARD though the ARUWASSI Program.
“This program has gained traction in the international Groundwater fora and has
received so much attention. One of such is the presentation which will be made
in Uganda during the Africa Water Week by Africa Water Association. Honourable
Minister Sir, it will be our pleasure to request that two of your mid level officer
from the water division of the DRD be sponsored to this event which is in two
weeks”, Ale said.
Speaking on benefits of ARUWASSI to promote desirable development in rural
farming, Ale extended his deepest appreciation to Mr President, Muhammadu
Buhari for deeming it fit to have a separate budgetary allocation line for the
support to Master Drillers after association’s pleas for support.
He also commended the National Assembly for their well thought decision to
approve it saying the borehole drillers’ desire is to make it a win-win partnership
deal between the players.
The AWDROP president therefore enjoined the minister to help strengthen the
ARUWASSI Program under the support to Master Drillers budgetary allocation,
such that many more programs that will attract donors’ funding will be developed
under the initiative.
He also requested that the ministry in partnership with AWDROP should do more
on promoting water for Agriculture and Rural livelihood considering the amount of
infrastructure investment under ARUWASSI program among other requests to
enhance the partnership.
In his welcome address, the Honourable Minister appreciated the visit by the
National Executive of AWDROP and promised to hold them responsible for the
management of the Drilling Rigs.
He also reiterated on the need to Integrate the ARUWASSI Rural Water program
with state governments to enhance better partnership and collaboration.