Monday, February 6, 2023

World Water Day: HOMEF urges Nigerians to respect water

Nnimmo Bassey, the Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF) director, has called on Nigerians to treat water with respect.

• March 23, 2022
Nigerian children playing in a stream
Nigerian children playing in a stream used to illustrate the story [Photo credit: University of Washington]

As World Water Day is celebrated globally, Nnimmo Bassey, the Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF) director, has called on Nigerians to treat water with respect.

Mr Bassey, in a statement on Tuesday, said access to potable water was a fundamental human right.

The theme for the 2022 World Water Day is ‘Valuing Water’.

“Some are forced to travel over long distances, just to get a few litres of potable water. While climate change can be blamed for the drought and other water-related crises facing the world today, water pollution from dumping of wastes and release of harmful chemicals from industries, including those in the petroleum sector, into water bodies, also pollute and intensify shortages of potable water,” explained the HOMEF director.

However, he pointed out that the ‘Valuing Water’ theme should not be construed to mean water can be “commodified“ or privatised but that the intrinsic value of this prime gift of nature must be respected and protected.

“Water is not a commodity for privatisation. It is important that our rivers, creeks, lagoons and ocean must not be seen as waste dumps for continual pollution and destruction of aquatic lives,” Mr Bassey stressed. “Beyond our need to secure our potable water sources, our entire aquatic ecosystem must be secured to promote cultural practices, preservation of knowledge and enhancement of livelihood, especially for our fish folks.”

The HOMEF director called for a realignment of “our relationship to our water bodies,” including the oceans, as zones of life and not zones for exploitative and polluting economic activities.


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