Niger State government has said that it will audit all water bodies in the state for optimum utilisation for the benefit of the residents and to address their negative impacts on communities.
The state Commissioner for Water Resources and Dams Development, Alhaji Yahaya Alhassan Gwagwa, said this at the 2023 World Rivers Day organised by the Upper Niger River Basin Development Authority in Minna, the state capital.
The pronouncement came less than a month after about 30 lives were lost in a boat mishap in Gbajibo, a community in Mokwa LGA of the state.
At the event tagged, “Rights of Rivers,” the commissioner who was represented by the permanent secretary in the ministry, Akilu Musa Kuta, said there was a need to raise awareness among the public on the value of rivers and the need to protect and conserve them due to unprecedented threats arising from misuse by communities.
The keynote speaker, Prof John Jiya Musa of the Federal University of Technology, Minna, said four dead bodies were recently found in a water body in the state that no one could tell what killed them.
He charged the state government to begin compulsory weekly water protection exercise to avert the negative impacts of rivers, especially flooding.
Earlier, the Managing Director, Upper Niger River Basin Development Authority, Prof M. A. Ali, said the event was to create awareness on the dangers of water pollution and the economic potentials associated with rivers.