By Taiwo Okanlawon
The Lagos State Government through the Lagos State Water Regulatory Commission (LASWARCO) on Monday commemorated the World Water Day with a special symposium and awareness walk on the need to imbibe the right disposition towards valuing water.
Speaking at the celebration held at the Conference Room of Lagos State Debt Management Office, Alausa, Ikeja, Executive Secretary of LASWARCO, Mrs Funke Adepoju said since 1993, March 22 has remained a significant day for water and all those in the water sector as set aside by the United Nations as a day to put spotlight on the importance of freshwater and also promoting the sustainable management of freshwater resources.
“These noble steps have continued to create the needed awareness for water and attention towards it has grown in the last two decades,” Adepoju said.
Alluding to available statistics to the effect that 2.2 billion people still live without access to safe water, while 829,000 die each year from diarrhea as a result of unsafe drinking water, sanitation and hand hygiene, Adepoju said it was obvious that more grounds still needed to be covered towards making water accessible to all in line with Sustainable Development Goals 6.
According to her, “The theme of World Water Day 2021 is Valuing Water. Water is indeed life and there is no day that goes by without every one of us having to use water one way or another. So more than its price is the boundless and infinite value to us all.
“Young or old, big or small, man or woman, literate or not, we all use water, we all need water. A resource of such incredible value must therefore be well managed, protected and respected. This is what WASH is all about – Safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene being crucial to human health and well-being.”
Also speaking, Lagos State Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr Tunji Bello who was represented by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mrs Belinda Odeneye said it was important for the people to take responsibility towards valuing water.
“Anything we have to do with the environment has to be participatory. We all have to take responsibility. Water is in short supply and human beings need to note it and we have to behave like it is in short supply.
“Some people should not be wasting water because the cost of extracting it and maintaining it to flow is high.
“For example in terms of ethical responsibility, when you want to wash, ensure that you wash with just the adequate soap that you need and when you want to dispose water, you dispose in an environmentally friendly manner.
“Some water can reused immediately. Some need treatment and some like rainwater can be used straight to water your plant and wash vehicles and all that. The key point is that we all have to take responsibility by valuing water the water it should be valued,” Odeneye said.
As part of the celebration, an awareness walk to sensitize residents on the need to value water was held in Alausa, while there was also a quiz competition for students of schools across six educational districts in the state on importance of water, with winners going away with laptop, educational learning tab, and cash prizes.