The Agency in conformity with it’s mandate of assessment of the Nation’s Water Resources conveyed a National Inter – Ministerial Committee, meeting on “Improving Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM), Knowledge – Based Management and Governance of the Niger Basin and the IULLEMEDEN – TAOUDENI/ TANZROUFT AQUIFERS SYSTEMS (NB – ITTAS), with the theme “Development of Pilot Project and Design of Strategic Action Plan For NB – ITTAS” yesterday 6th September, 2021 at the office headquarters in Abuja.
Worthy of note is that members are drawn from the Ministry of Environment, Mines and Steel Development, Agriculture and Rural Development, Water Resources ( FMWR), Industry Trade and Investment, National Water Resources Institute, (NWRI), Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency ( NIHSA), and academia’s from the Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, and Usman Danfodio University Sokoto.
Engr Clement Nze, Director General, (NIHSA), while speaking, gave a brief insight into the ITTAS – NB project. He stated that the IULLEMEDEN – TAOUDENI/ TANZROUFT AQUIFERS SYSTEMS (ITTAS), is a transboundary groundwater resources shared by seven countries of Algeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Nigeria. While the Niger River he said, is a transboundary surface water resources shared by nine countries, namely; Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Cote D’ivoire, Guinea, Mali, Niger and Nigeria under the umbrella of Niger Basin Authority (NBA).
Nze further stated that Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) is a process which promotes the coordinated development and management of water; surface and groundwater, land and related resources in order to maximize the resultant economic and social welfare in an equitable manner without compromising the sustainability of vital ecosystems.
Furthermore he said the project will support the analysis of remote sensing data to assess changes in the use of natural resources such as forest, water, land and land use in target areas of the project, noting also that it will carryout ground verification as required, in collaboration with country staff, to verify maps and spatial analysis produced and determine levels of accuracy amongst other objectives of the project.
Mr Stephen Jabo, Director Hydrogeophysics, presented the terms of reference and the Focal point as Nigeria.
Jabo stated that the Sahara Sahel Observatory (OSS), obtained a grant that will aid the project.
He further stated amongst others the tasks of the focal point, which is to Hand over the documents at hand to the members of the National Inter-Ministerial Committee and consultants.
The high point of the meeting was the review of the virtual meeting of the Committee on the Regional Project, ” Improving IWRM, Knowledge Based Management and Governance of the Niger Basin and the ITTAS, held on 9th July, 2020, the presentation of the Proposed Pilot Project, presented by Mr Stephen Jabo,
Others are the formation of commitees on project components; these are Hydrogeology, Socio economics, Environment, Climate change and Governance. And also Strategic Action Plan (SAP), input made by the committee members.
Nze in his closing remarks, appreciated all members of the committee, on behalf of the agency, for coming out and seeing the work as a National assignment, he noted that the staring Committee should play their roles effectively in order to make a difference in the research work, before any document is presented to OSS that will in turn have no option than to doing the needful.
Giving the vote of thanks, Mr Stephen Jabo, Director Hydrogeophysics, thanked all members for participating and contributing meaningfully on the occasion of their first meeting, he wished all members journey mercies back to their destinations.