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World Water Day 2024: “Water, A Powerful Force For Peace”, Environmental Engineers Chairman Speaks

Engr. Nureni Adegboyega Ogunyemi, the National Chairman of the Nigerian Institution of Environmental Engineers (NIEE), has lamented that access to clean water remains a luxury for many people in the country.

Speaking recently at a press conference in commemoration of the United Nations (UN) World Water Day 2024, Engr Ogunyemi stressed that access to clean water is a fundamental human right.

According to him, water plays an important role in global affairs, and its security is critical to peace and security.

Engr. Ogunyemi said:

“This year, under the theme “Water for Peace”, we have another opportunity to rally together and make a meaningful difference in both our communities and around the world. 

“Water, as we all know, is a universal necessity. It sustains life, nurtures growth, and fosters prosperity. However, access to clean water remains a luxury for far too many than we can imagine.

“In numerous regions, water scarcity exacerbates tensions and fuels conflicts, threatening the stability and well-being of the entire population. Data from the UN tells us that exactly 153 countries worldwide depend on water that crosses national borders, yet, only 24 countries have cooperation agreements for all their shared water.

“Water is not just a source of life; it is also a powerful force for peace. Access to clean water is a fundamental human right, yet, millions around the world still lack access to safe drinking water and sanitation. This scarcity often leads to conflict, as communities compete for dwindling water resources.”

Furthermore, the NIEE chief stated that everyone has a role to play for water to serve its purpose as a viable force for peace.

He said:

“Individuals can conserve water in their daily lives, making mindful choices to reduce waste and pollution. Families can educate themselves and their communities about the importance of water stewardship, instilling a sense of responsibility for future generations. Businesses can adopt sustainable practices that minimize water usage and pollution, recognising that responsible water management is not only good for the environment but also essential for long-term profitability and climate resilience. Governments can enact policies and invest in infrastructure to ensure equitable access to clean water and sanitation for all as required by the Sustainable Development Goal 6: Clean Water and Sanitation. But our collective efforts must extend beyond mere rhetoric.

“We must translate our words into actions that bring about real change. By working together, we can address the root causes of water scarcity and conflict, forging partnerships and fostering dialogue to build a more sustainable and peaceful world.”

Conclusively, Engr. Ogunyemi called on the Federal Government, the Federal Ministry of Water Resources and Sanitation, all State Governments and their respective Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) in charge of water resources to ensure the adequate supply and proper use of water.

He also charged the National Assembly to be proactive in legislating on maritime shipping and navigation.

He said:

“The Nigerian Institution of Environmental Engineers is always ready and willing to partner with the relevant authorities in whatever area needed.”

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