22 January 2013

Nigeria: Ochekpe Seeks Inclusion of Water Experts in Mining Council

The Minister of Water Resources, Mrs Sarah Ochekpe, in Abuja on Tuesday called for the inclusion of water experts in the Council of Nigerian Mining Engineers and Geosciences (COMEG).

Ochekpe made the call at the "Stakeholders forum on Mapping Fresh Water Aquifers of Coastal Nigeria", organised by COMEG.

She expressed concern on the non-recognition of the water sector in geosciences, which she described as worrisome.

The forum was organised to present the report on salt water intrusion study in coastal areas of the country and discuss ways to tackle it.

"I have been informed that the water sector is not represented in the membership of COMEG because of its merger with the agriculture in the past.

"The non-recognition and inclusion of a major sector like water in geosciences is, therefore, worrisome to me.

"May I appeal to the chairman of the council and its members to kindly review the situation and grant water the deserved recognition and inclusion on the council.

Ochekpe, who said the challenges in meeting the country's water needs was multi-faceted and daunting, however, praised COMEG and its registered members for their efforts in solving some of the problems.

She expressed regrets about the intrusion of salt water in fresh water, particularly in the coastal areas of the country, pointing out that this was one of the major challenges facing the country's water sector.

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