Engineers Urge LASG To Take Action On Supply Of Potable Water

L-R: Mrs Monsurat Alagbe, Lagos Chapter Chairperson, Association of Professional Women Engineers; Mr Christian Ufot, Chairman, Apapa Branch, Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE); General Secretary, Apapa NSE, Mr Emmanuel Okolo and a member of Apapa NSE, Mr Semiu Ajadi during a press conference on Monday in Lagos to announce the 2022 Engineering Week of Apapa NSE

The Apapa Branch of the Nigeria Society of Engineers (NSE) has appealed to the Lagos State Government to do everything within its power to make potable water available to residents.

The NSE Apapa Branch Chairman, Mr Christian Ufot, made the appeal in an interview in Lagos on Monday.

He spoke on the sidelines of a news conference organised to announce activities lined up for the celebration of the 2022 Engineering Week in Lagos.

According to him, the society has continued to focus on the welfare of the masses, as well as proffering solutions to challenges associated with public service delivery.

He said that an area of concern had been the supply of pipe-borne water to residents across the state.

According to the chairman, it is the main reason the society usually pays courtesy visits to key organisations every year, as part of activities to celebrate the Engineering week.

“We will suggest that government makes potable water supply to residents a top priority.

“The indiscriminate drilling of boreholes across the state is as a result of non-availability of potable water, and I must say that this act of drilling causes underground water pollution,” he said.

The chairman said that when there was the provision of a better alternative, it would become easy for anyone to discard the existing one.

“At the moment, the pipe borne water is not available, so, when you tell people not to drill boreholes, how then are they going to survive without water? So, the people are looking for a way to survive.

“The way forward is just for the government to strive hard to provide residents with potable water, and when this is done and anyone chooses to still go ahead to drill a borehole, the government has every right to query such person,” he said.

Ufot recalled that in the time past, there used to be pipe-borne water, and then a time came when it was no more available, and as a result, people resorted to catering for themselves.

“So, with that, we decided that we needed to pay a visit to the state Water Corporation, and during the visit, we were able to identify challenges being faced by the corporation.

“One of such challenges is finance; the budgetary provision for the corporation is really not sufficient, that is on one part.

“On the other part, facilities that have been there probably in the 1960s, such as pipes, are already rusted and leaking.

“So, when water is pumped and distributed through those pipes, maybe, up to about 50 per cent will be wasted through such leakages.

“So, in our houses, when water should be flowing, it is gushing out into the gutter somewhere and not getting to the end users,” Ufot stated.

He noted that these, coupled with the massive increase of population in the state, were some of the challenges facing the corporation.

The chairman said the corporation needed funds to replace pipes.

According to him, the corporation has also been making its own presentation to the government in a bid to ensure that the challenges are tackled.

He added that much as it sounded good and commendable, the government too may be faced with a paucity of funds, as there were many other issues too jostling for its attention.

“You know when you talk of resources, particularly the funding of projects, the state government too may be looking at other areas of urgent attention and therefore, to release funds for that, may not be as much as expected.

“However, having said this, there is the need for government to pay urgent attention to issues concerning water in the state because water is life.

“Without water, many negative things can happen. Diseases that are water-related, most likely, could come up.

“The most pressing is that of leakage and insufficient fund. Something should be done and urgently too, to ensure quality service delivery, as well as better welfare for residents.”

He also gave a breakdown of the activities lined up for the celebration of the Engineering Week.

The chairman said soon after the news conference, members would pay a visit to the Atunda Olu School for the Physically and Mentally Challenged Children, in Surulere.

According to him, on Tuesday, members of the branch will also pay an industrial visit to the Flour Mills of Nigeria PLC.

He noted that one of the major reasons for the visit was to avail members of the opportunity to develop and sharpen their skills.

The chairman said on Wednesday, that there would be a hybrid public lecture with the theme: 21st Century Professional Development Vehicle, to be delivered by Mrs Uchechi Edosomwan.

He said that this would be followed by indoor games.

Ufot said that Thursday, the grand finale, would feature the society’s Annual General Meeting/election of new executives, as well as audit committee members.

He said that members of the society were in partnership with both secondary and tertiary institutions in the state.

This is in a bid to further enhance professionalism in the various sectors of the economy and engender national development.

“You know the NSE embraces all the various disciplines of Engineering. We plan to visit the Lagos State University, (LASU) again.

“We did that two years ago and we plan to do so again as we seek to support some students in their research work

“We had initiated this at the Epe campus of the institution and hope to collaborate with the university’s Engineering students, just like we have been doing in some selected secondary schools in this area.

“It is all about telling them the benefits of Engineering as a discipline,” Ufot said.

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