As the 10th World Water Forum Concludes, What’s in it for Nigerians?

By Ikokwu Chidozie Ikemba

The 10th World Water Forum in Bali has drawn to a close, leaving a lasting impact on the global water community. Among the prominent attendees was Nigeria’s Honourable Minister of Water Resources and Sanitation, Prof. Engr. Joseph Ustev, accompanied by his dedicated team. The Minister, who has vowed to ensure water for all Nigerians despite numerous challenges, attended this forum with the hope of finding sustainable solutions to Nigeria’s pressing water issues.

          

The World Water Forum, organized by the World Water Council in collaboration with the Republic of Indonesia, serves as a crucial platform for dialogue and cooperation among global water stakeholders. It aims to address water-related challenges by fostering collaboration between key decision-makers and the broader water community. The welcome address by Loic Fauchon, President of the World Water Council, set the tone for the forum:

“The 10th World Water Forum preparation has now entered its active phase. On February 15 and 16, nearly a thousand members of the world water community will meet in Jakarta at the initiative of the highest authorities of the Republic of Indonesia. Indonesia and our Council are organizing this 10th Forum with a double objective.

First, to confirm that water as well as sanitation are political priorities. ‘Water is politics’ at all levels, international, national, and local. These priorities require actions and solutions that are themselves political.

Secondly, to express loudly that bringing water to several million deprived people requires a perfect alliance between innovation, governance, and finance. And this alliance requires concrete answers that will enter into the daily life of the poorest people.”

For Nigeria, participation in this forum is of immense importance. Here are some key takeaways and advantages for Nigeria from this global event:

Access to Innovative Solutions

The forum provided a wealth of innovative approaches and technologies designed to address water scarcity and sanitation issues. Nigerian delegates had the opportunity to engage with experts and learn about cutting-edge solutions that can be tailored to fit the unique needs of Nigerian communities.

Strengthened Political Will

Echoing the sentiment of “Water is politics,” the forum underscored the necessity of political commitment to address water challenges. Prof. Ustev’s involvement signals Nigeria’s dedication to making water and sanitation a political priority, reinforcing his promise to deliver water for all.

International Collaboration

The forum fostered international partnerships, offering Nigeria the chance to collaborate with other nations facing similar water issues. Such alliances can lead to shared resources, knowledge exchange, and coordinated efforts to tackle common challenges.

Funding Opportunities

A critical component discussed at the forum was the alignment of governance, innovation, and finance. Nigeria stands to benefit from exploring new funding avenues and financial models that can support large-scale water projects, ensuring sustainable development.

Community Engagement

Concrete solutions require practical implementation at the grassroots level. Insights from the forum can help Nigerian leaders design programs that directly benefit the poorest communities, ensuring that interventions are both effective and inclusive.

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Participation in the forum aligns with Nigeria’s commitment to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, particularly Goal 6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. The discussions and outcomes from the forum provide a roadmap for Nigeria to accelerate its progress towards these targets.

As we expect our amiable team back home, the 10th World Water Forum has provided Nigeria with a robust framework to tackle its water challenges. The engagement and insights gained by Prof. Engr. Joseph Ustev and his team are poised to translate into actionable strategies that can significantly improve water access and sanitation across Nigeria. The forum’s emphasis on political will, innovation, and finance aligns perfectly with Nigeria’s goals, offering a hopeful path forward for millions of Nigerians still deprived of these essential resources.

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