Senate Committee Laments Effect of Insufficient Water Governance on National Food Security

Senate Committee Laments Effect of Insufficient Water Governance on National Food Security

Folalumi Alaran in Abuja

The Chairman of the House of Representative Committee on Water Resources, Sada Soli, has expressed deep concern over the adverse effects of insufficient water governance on the country’s food security.

Soli made this statement during the closing ceremony of the 30th Regular Meeting of the National Council on Water Resources and Sanitation held in Abuja yesterday.

 He emphasised the vital role of effective water resource management in meeting the growing demand for food across the country.

 The chairman, however, called for  international collaboration in water governance, emphasizing the importance of sharing best practices and implementing joint initiatives to address water-related challenges beyond national borders.

According to the lawmaker, “It is rightly emphasising that proper water governance is crucial in ensuring food security in the country. Water is an essential resource for agriculture, and efficient management of water resources is necessary to meet the increasing demand for food nationwide.

“The question for sustainable water management stresses the need for sustainable management of water resources. This includes implementing water-saving technologies, promoting efficient irrigation techniques, and investing in water infrastructure. Without sustainable water management practices, food production will be severely affected, leading to potential food crises.

“There is the need for international cooperation in water governance to achieve national food security goals at this particular period in the history of this country. Trans-boundary water management, sharing of best practices, and joint initiatives can help address water-related challenges that transcend national borders. Collaborative efforts among states are crucial in ensuring the equitable and sustainable use of water resources.”

On his part, the Minister of Water Resources and Sanitation, Joseph Terlumun, reiterated the need for collaboration between the Ministry of Agriculture, Water Resources and Sanitation, as well as sub-national entities to ensure adequate irrigation of farmland and to guarantee that food is produced all year round.

The minister insisted that irrigated agriculture is crucial to Nigeria’s economic development.

He said: “Irrigated agricultural practice has been identified as key to a vibrant Nigerian economy, accounting for a high percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and a viable intervention option that will ensure national food security and poverty alleviation.

“Since the last council meeting, some completed irrigation schemes have been completed and handed over to farmers for cultivation through the World Bank Sponsored Transforming Irrigation Management in Nigeria (TRIMING) project. These schemes include: The Hadejia Valley 5,750ha irrigation scheme in Jigawa State; Kano River 14,444ha irrigation scheme in Kano State; Gari 2,114ha irrigation project in Kano and Jigawa States.

“May I use this opportunity to inform you that the Transforming Irrigation Management in Nigeria (TRIMING) project will be exiting this year and the ministry has set up a committee to come up with sustainability exit strategies for the TRIMING project.”

Earlier, in his welcome address, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesome Wike, who was represented by the General Manager, FCT Water Board, Daniel Salka Audu  recognised the effectiveness of water governance in ensuring sustainable access to water resources for agricultural production which is essential for daily food security in the country.

Wike, therefore, urged the participants to share their experiences and contribute ideas towards the development of actionable recommendations that will guard the efforts of the government in promoting water governance for national security.

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