The National President, Association Of Water Well Drilling Rig Owners And Practitioners (AWDROP) Engr Michael Ale has called on the Federal Government of Nigeria to as a matter of urgency embark on provision of affordable water to battle corona virus pandemic in Nigeria.
Engr Ale, a one time water consultant to the World Bank made this call while featuring on a national television programme on Sunday as part of activities marking 2020 Water Day.
He explained that water remains one of the safest way to guard against the deadly corona virus as identified by National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) hence the need for Federal Government to be proactive in ensuring water is available for all Nigerians.
The National President said government should as a quick intervention to the situation currently established a special “Emergency Water Fund” as part of efforts to ensure there is water for the people especially at the rural area.
The National President said drilling of Boreholes in Nigeria should be suspended except on stipulation even though people need water for hand washing, but as providers, AWDROP will not endanger the life of its client and citizen by taking into consideration that people are vulnerable through contacts.
“Unfortunately, our current drilling system and operation don’t observe HEALTH SAFETY AND ENVIRONMENT (HSE) procedure. Many of the drilling companies have foreigners on their crew and many don’t have good dressing or health habits.
” It’s on this heel that the Association at an emergency meeting concluded that unhealthy drilling should be suspended forthwith. Nevertheless, drilling services will be available to emergency situation in areas mostly needed and on full observance of health and safety dress code and procedure by the drilling crew.
Engr Ale while speaking on emergency repair of Waterwell at homes and rural areas, urges that Nigerians should make sure any person or utility repairer is sanitized and wears protective gears before any service is rendered.
He stated that Federal Government should also roll out professionals and groups just like AWDROP to go into different villages and drill boreholes as well as solar power water facilities and not the hand pumps as there is a risk for young children at this period of Corona Virus handling the hand pump because they have to touch it and this may contribute greatly to its spread if not well handled.
We shall ensure compliance to this directives by all our local and state task force Group.
Engr Ale further call on local government authorities in the country as well as community leaders where there are boreholes to provide hand sanitizers for children because they need to fetch waters in time like this.
He added that where there are no waters, emergency water projects should be put in place to ensure easy access to clean water.
“We stand by you at this time and will be willing to support your course in this trial time to offer our emergency services to Nigerians.” Engr Ale added.