Dangote, others seek better groundwater protection | The Guardian Nigeria News
It was argued that the extractive industries should prioritize the protection of groundwater in order to preserve the environment for the benefit of all.
To achieve this, companies have been urged to deliberately integrate groundwater safety into their operational designs and the supply of industrial production facilities.
These were among the submissions of Community Affairs and Environment Manager, Dangote Cement Plc, Tukur Lawal, in his presentation to stakeholders across the sustainability ecosystem during a webinar to mark World Sustainability Day. Water 2022 organized by the Lagos Business School Sustainability Center in collaboration with Dangote Cement Plc and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP).
According to him, Dangote Cement has always adopted global best practices, pointing out that “some of Dangote Cement Plc’s best practices include the dry cement production process, recycling and reusing 20% of the water at the plant. ‘Ibese in South West Nigeria, as well as bringing treated water to farmers in surrounding communities’, a development which he says has benefited about 143 farmers in Zambia.
The virtual event, which attracted stakeholders from across Africa, was part of this year’s theme “Groundwater: Making the Invisible Visible”, and centered on the fact that groundwater “does not represent only 3% of the world’s fresh water and yet the largest and most widely distributed source of fresh water.
In his opening remarks, Dr Igazeuma Okoroba, Head of Sustainable Development at Dangote Cement Plc, said the forum was organized to raise awareness and promote collaboration in the sustainable use of groundwater – an essential resource for all.
UNEP Water Specialist, Patrick Lumumba M’mayi, in his lecture, highlighted the need for partnerships between communities, universities, government and business to address groundwater pollution and foster sustainable management of this precious resource.
“The question then becomes: how much are we investing in this resource so that it is available for our use today and remains available for our generations yet to be born?” he asked.
LBS Sustainability Center Manager Ms. Oreva Atanya also urged participants and speakers to leave with a sense of collective responsibility.
“While organizations like UNEP work on the basis of requests from governments, companies in the extractive industry must also ensure that they adhere to the highest environmental standards. NGOs and citizens also have a duty,” she added.
According to Kaine Chinwa, an academic and panellist, it is important for Africa to find solutions locally to mitigate groundwater pollution, which is already rampant across the continent, particularly in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. .
World Water Day aims to commemorate human dependence on water and to raise awareness of the 2.2 billion people who live without access to safe drinking water. The day also draws attention to the actions needed to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6, which states “Clean water and sanitation for all by 2030”.