We have watched and listened with keen interest, public opinions as regarding people fears on the proposed National Water Resource Bill that has scaled second reading at the Senate.
The fears as expressed so far, is on the premise that the National Water Resource Bill is a calculated attempt by the Federal Government to take over the socioeconomic ownership of the water bodies, as in the case of the much talked about Land Use Decree of 1978.
Though, we have nothing against Government move to create a proper legislature that will see to a better management of water in the Country, we’re however opposed to any draconian law that is against the interest of the generality of our people.
In a show of sympathy with the suffering people of the Niger Delta region, the Initiator of the FIX-DELTA INITIATIVE (FDI) Comrade Sunny OFEHE, who is also the Founder of the Hope for Niger Delta Campaign (HNDC) decried the devastating effects of the flooding menace that has become an annual occurrence in most States of the Niger Delta.
The Delta State born environmentalist, frowned seriously at the way people are now being made to live as refugees in their own ancestral land, as a result of waters displacing them from their homes, causing monumental damages in their farmlands, constituting serious health risk hazards and causing untold hardship in the Niger Delta region.
Giving some suggestions, on how to achieve a better solution on curbing the flooding vis-à-vis enacting an acceptable legislature on proper water management system. The FDI & HNDC threw up the following points:
* Government should engage all core critical stakeholders, on what this National Water Resource Bill stands to achieve. And at same time, what they stands to benefit.
*Natives should be assured of greater percentage, in terms of stake of ownership.
*The proposed bill be centred on addressing insecurity along our national waterways, making the water clean and safe for human usage and protect the water from pollution arising from indiscriminate dumping of waste/toxic materials.
* Issuing a clear statement as to the root cause of this floods, and finding a permanent solution to it.
*Government and Cooperate bodies should make available relief materials and when necessary cash donations to victims of this floods, as a way of cushioning it’s devastating effects on their lives.
MDA’s of Government that are concerned with water resources, be strengthen to do more as regarding water management.
COMRADE SUNNY OFEHE
HOPE FOR NIGER DELTA CAMPAIGN(HNDC),THE NETHERLANDS.