The Federal Ministry of Water Resources has called on communities to stop defecating, bathing, washing and indiscriminate dumping of solid wastes in rivers, streams and in irrigation facilities.
Mr Suleiman Adamu, the minister, made this call on Saturday in a statement issued at the end of a sensitisation workshop for Women Participation in Water Users’ Associations (WUAs) for Irrigated Agriculture.
Adamu, who was represented at the workshop by the Director of Irrigation and Drainage at the ministry, Mrs Oyeronke Oluniyi.
According to him, the culture of abusing waterways was common in communities hosting irrigation sites and charged river basin development authorities to encourage women participation in the operation and maintenance of irrigation systems.
He also said that a well-structured Water User Association promotes a sustainable and better managed irrigated agriculture.
Furthermore, he noted that the quality of water used for irrigation was essential for yield and quantity of crops, maintenance of soil productivity, and protection of the environment.
Quality of water is also of great significance to human health, as it is in foods eaten raw or cooked.
The quality of irrigation water depends on many factors for its successful application and beneficial uses; they include soil type, irrigation methods adopted and drainage conditions of the area.
These constituents affecting the suitability of irrigation water for agriculture are greatly dependent on the activities and practices of inhabitants within the catchment areas of irrigation schemes, he said.
The Federal Government was committed to achieving food security, poverty alleviation, and job and wealth creation through sustainable irrigation agriculture, the minister assured.
He lauded the Hadejia Jama’are River Basin Development Authority’s contribution, for the performance of the management transfer process from government-controlled to farmer-managed.
Furthermore, Adamu called on women and youths to always be at the forefront of promoting the attainment of good quality water in canals and reservoirs, for safe crop production through irrigation.
The workshop was organised by the ministry in collaboration with the Hadejia Jama’are River Basin Development Authority.