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ABUJA — AS part of efforts to meet the Sustainable Development Goal, SDG, 6, the Borehole Drillers Association of Nigeria, BODAN, is to collaborate with United Nations Children Education Fund, UNICEF, to ensure that Nigerians at all level have access to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, WASH.

Speaking after an interactive session with the UNICEF Chief WASH Coordinator, Kanann Nadar, and President, BODAN, Francis Uzoma, explained that the essence of the interaction was to establish relationship with UNICEF concerning effective collaboration in terms of service delivery by constructing quality boreholes.

Uzoma said: “The whole essence of this interaction is to see how we can broaden areas of collaboration so that borehole drilling services that we offer to UNICEF and other organisations can effectively done, even in the aspect of capacity building.”

Earlier, Nadar said UNICEF-WASH had been into water provision for Nigerians and most of its borehole projects were exe-cuted by BODAN members.

A geologist and president of the Borehole Drillers Association of Nigeria (BODAN), Francis Uzoma, has said drilling activities do not in any way cause harm to the environment nor will it trigger  an earthquake.

He was reacting to the fear raised in some quarters that there was an impending earthquake due to borehole drilling activities.

Speaking in Abuja, the BODAN boss said the assertion was based on false alarm which he described as baseless. “Whoever have made that statement has no knowledge of the geology of Nigeria,” he added.

“I have never heard anywhere in the world where borehole drilling caused an earthquake. So considering what causes an earthquake, earthquake emanates from a very deeper part of the earth. The drilling we are doing does not even cut across such strata so that information is baseless and should be discarded,” he said.
He said the distance between the crusts and the mantle was about 50,000 kilometres, and most of the drilling they did was on the crusts.

Earthquake, according to him, emanated usually on the boundary between the mantle and the crusts, saying, “the drilling we do has not gotten that deep, usually we do a very shallow drilling of 30 to 40 meters and in sedimentary areas we go as much as 100 to 200 meters. I want to say that information is not something anybody should worry about.”
However, he said BODAN is venturing into Public Private Partnership (PPP) to ensure that drilling process is standardized.

The association, he said, was collaborating with UNICEF to see how contents would be developed for the training curriculum to improve the capacity of the drillers.

He also maintained that BODAN would continue to collaborate with the government and other relevant stakeholders in project execution, monitoring and training as well as quality assurance to reduce borehole breakdown and have sustainable boreholes.

ABUJA—Borehole Drillers Association of Nigeria, BODAN, has commended the National Water Bill, NWB, pending at the National Assembly, saying it will help to improve the quality of drinking water in the country.

President of BODAN, Francis Uzoma, who disclosed this at the association’s general meeting in Abuja, said the association had been working closely with the Federal Ministry of Water Resources to ensure that its members adhered strictly to the guidelines stipulated in the NWB, when passed into law.

He explained that the Bill would add value to the activities of the association due to its importance to domestic and industrial needs, including drinking, farming, cooking and various sanitary activities.

Uzoma lauded the Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, for the ministry’s support to BODAN, despite poor funding.

According to him: “The National Water Bill is relevant to the industry because our members are the ones delivering water services to our people in the area of borehole drilling and constructions. The code of practice talks about drilling industry and drilling constructions, it talks about how you drill, the type of drilling materials you are supposed to use.

‘’You don’t have to drill where they have cemetery. You don’t have to drill with substandard materials. You have to drill with materials that are durable. These are things we encourage our members to adhere to. We have dignity of labour in our operations. It is a profession for the professionals, the geologists, geophysics and hydro geologists, a profession with enormous respect and we are contributing so much to the economy.”

In line with the 2015 United Nations World Water Day Celebration, the Borehole Drillers Association of Nigeria (BODAN) in collaboration with Mopel Resources Network celebrated this year’s event in a grand style.

The event which had as it theme: WATER AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT was flagged off with a thanksgiving service on Sunday, 22nd March, 2015 at the Believers Assembly, Mbiaobong Etoi, Uyo.  The Association thanked God for using them to impart the lives of people by ensuring the availability of clean, fresh and portable water for drinking.
On Monday, March 23rd 2015, BODAN gathered at Modern Training Institute, Uyo for a water stakeholders’ conference to strategize on ways to ensure constant provision of clean, fresh and portable water for healthy living.

In his opening address, the State Chairman of BODAN, Pastor Mfon Offiong said that water is the only substance found in three forms: solid, liquid and gas.  He added that God created water in an inexhaustible manner, hence; the importance of water cannot be overemphasized.   Pastor Offiong reiterated that water is as important to man as the air we breathe.  Hence, the Borehole Drillers Association of Nigeria is making constant efforts to ensure the provision of clean and fresh water for healthy living.

He called on members of the public to drill their boreholes with registered BODAN members in order to ensure that  every borehole drilled by its member is registered, and water quality analyzed, so as to check quacks who could drill water that are unsafe for healthy living.

He also appealed to government to establish the Ministry of Water Resources in Akwa Ibom State so as to control and ensure the distribution of fresh, clean and affordable water in the state.

Providing the safety awareness, Mr. Constance Dan charged the public on the need to maintain safety etiquettes on water consumption.  He added that when contaminated, water can cause waterborne diseases.

Highpoint of the occasion was a street march by the Borehole Drillers Association of Nigeria to sensitize the people on the importance of water to life, and presentation of prizes and awards to students who took part in the quiz competition which was organized among secondary schools in the state.  Modern Training Institute too the 1st position, Uyo High School took the 2nd position while Community Secondary School Aka Offot came 3rd.

The even had in attendance some personnel from the Federal Ministry of Water Resources; Mr. Imoh Ekwere – Managing Director, Mopel Resources Network and other stakeholders of the Borehole Drillers Association of Nigeria.
The World Water Day is usually celebrated on the 22nd March of every year.

Ekong Sampson

Today is World Water Day. Ironically, the larger strata that use – and misuse – this prized liquid will go about their businesses in all innocence today, quite oblivious of the big celebration. We see so much of water that we tend to take it for granted!

Last year, this writer, then serving as Commissioner for Rural Development, celebrated the World Water Day at the Women Development Centre where a range of activities had been lined up to mark the event.

Stakeholders used the occasion to reflect on water and life. I was particularly excited when members of Borehole Drillers Association of Nigeria (BODAN) in their presentations took pains to emphasise the need for quality control indices in water policy.

The theme of this year’s celebration is Water and Waste Water.

In order to prioritise the water sector, the Udom Emmanuel administration has structured an innovation in setting up the Bureau of Political, Legislative Affairs and Water Resources. The Bureau is working hard to energise Akwa Ibom Water Company to expand its services and to open up our rural areas to safe and adequate water. The Government is pursuing a quality-driven water policy. A regulatory framework is also under consideration.

It is said that water is life. Very well. But then, water can also be death – we patronise poor quality water at great risk. It was one of the concerns that encouraged this writer at the Ministry of Rural Development to initiate the landmark Akwa Ibom Rural Development Master Plan (AK-RDMP) with the water sector on the front burner. Admittedly, a lot remains to be done to give our people, especially rural dwellers, access to safe, adequate water. The water infrastructure has to be upgraded and preserved. The obligation is however not on government alone. Vandalisation of water facilities has been a huge disservice to humanity. We must join hands to protect infrastructure. Consumers should also be willing to pay for services rendered. How come that even our privileged ones rush to pay for electricity and turn a blind eye on water bills – water that nobody can do without?

As we draw lessons today, let us be re-dedicated to situate water as the pre-eminent peacemaker and neutraliser. Let us treat water with all the respect that it truly deserves.

Ekong Sampson is the Special Adviser to the Governor of Akwa Ibom State on Political, Legislative Affairs and Water Resources

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