– Says; Governor Committed To Reviving Public Water System

An environmentalist and Special Adviser to the Governor on Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (RUWASSA), Hon. Okereke Godson Bishop has frowned at the indiscriminate drilling of boreholes in the State. 

He told news men that it was time the State puts in place necessary legislation that would regulate the use of underground water,adding that Government is committed to reviving public water system in Imo state.“Any resource that is not monitored or controlled but left in the hands of the citizens portends danger, as it will be subject to abuse”, he said.

“If our underground water is being exploited and there is no legislation to regulate it’s use, then surely it will be subject to abuse and in the case of water, it may lead to pollution and other environmental hazards”, he added.

Some river passages in the State that could have been of economic benefits to our society in the aspect of tourism, environmental beautification etc, have all dried up as a result of proliferation of boreholes. 

He said it is the responsibility of the agency to provide the necessary laws through the Imo House of Assembly, then RUWASSA will provide guidelines and license to those interested in drilling boreholes in the State for compliance. He also noted that it is a gradual process knowing that water is life, you cannot just stop anyone in the absence of laws or regulations.

He urged Imo citizens, especially the wealthy to desist from sinking individual boreholes but encourage them to sink community boreholes so that many households can connect free of charge rather than each house sinking it’s own borehole.

“Our appeal is to those drilling boreholes to come together and drill a central borehole for either their community or estate. This will reduce cost and preserve our underground water for future degenerations,” he said.

He expressed regret that the rise in borehole drilling in Imo State has caused a lot of negative effects (pollution) on the environment and the damage on the surroundings is on the increase considering depletion of the ozone layer. Furthermore, he stated that the water from the underground is unsafe for human consumption as some boreholes are exposed to pollutants and pathogens which lead to water borne diseases like typhoid, guinea – worm, diarrhoea etc.

Addressing news men in Owerri on Monday, Okereke pointed out that ‘’continuous drilling of boreholes from the aquifers cause vertical and literal intrusion of the surrounding salt water, giving that the water level declines due to constant pumping of water and can eventually cause earthquakes in some parts of the State, if not controlled and this has negative cumulative effects on the environment’’.

The former leader of NANS, zone B, comprising the entire South east and South South, said the money spent on constructing individual boreholes can be used to build a reliable source of water from surface water, which is always safe and environmentally friendly.

The Ngor-Okpala born APC stalwart therefore urged the incoming members of the State House of Assembly to leverage from this information and prevent degradation of the environment by formulating laws and policies that can regulate the drilling of boreholes in specific environments in the State.