Water resources master plan ready – Consultant

he draft copy of the reviewed National Water Resources Master Plan aimed at ensuring effective water management in the country is ready, a consultant, Mr Kitamura Tadanori, has said.

Tadanori, a Consultant to the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA), made the fact known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Friday.

NAN recalls that JICA developed Nigeria’s Water Resources Plan in 1995, a document that was supposed to be updated every five years.

The plan guarantees an integrated and economically sound water resources planning, development and management till 2020.

However, the plan was not updated until 2010, when the Federal Government requested JICA’s technical team to review and update it.

Tadanori said the draft copy of the document had been submitted to the Federal Ministry of Water Resources, adding that a steering committee meeting would soon hold to assess the document.

“We have three stages for the review process: the first stage was the basic studies to correct and identify issues of water resources in the country and we have already completed that stage.

“The second phase is the formation of the master plan which is also completed, the third phase is assisting in the formulation of catchment plan for selected hydrological areas.

“We will spend four months to complete the third stage; hopefully latest by November we will finish the process.’’

Tadanori said the review of the master plan, which started two years ago, was supposed to be completed within two and half years, noting that the final report will be submitted in January 2014.

He, however, noted that the major challenges in the formulation of the master plan were lack of data and variation in available data, adding that the document was formulated based on available data.

He said the team had been working closely with all the River Basin Development Authorities and the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency to obtain relevant data.

The consultant urged the Federal Government to invest in hydrology data, noting that the benefit of having a good hydrological data was enormous.

NAN learnt that the review of the master plan became necessary because of the rapid increase in the country’s population and the global climate change phenomenon.

When the plan is completed, it will analyse the situation of water resources in the country, propose strategy for their development and how to manage them.

The review and updated copy would be transmitted to the Federal Ministry of Water Resources, to enable it to carry out similar reviews in future. (NAN)

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