FG partners with Israel to tackle water, environmental challenges
The Federal Government has concluded plans to partner with the State of Israel to tackle water and environmental challenges in the country.
The decision was taken at joint conference with the Israeli Embassy, the ministries of water resources and environment in Abuja on Thursday.
Mr Musa Istifanus, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources, said that the aim of the conference was to deliberate on ways to provide solution to water technology and environmental control.
Istifanus said that the ministry was determined to acquire Israeli’s technology to provide solution to water and environmental issues in Nigeria.
According to Istifanus, the aim of the collaborative meeting by the two ministries with Israeli embassy is to discuss on the forthcoming conference that will be holding in Israel in October.
“The entire discussion is centred toward the forthcoming conference on Water Technology and Environmental Control (WATEC).
“This topic is very dear to Nigeria at this period because of the effects of climate change which is a global reality.
“It is our belief that in this meeting, we will come up with a workable position that will assist in reaching the aim of the conference in Israel.
“And I hope at the end of the meeting, Nigeria and the State of Israel will develop a partnership that will assist humanity for life,’’ he said.
While presenting a paper titled: “Possible Areas of Collaboration with the State of Israel’’, Istifanus said that Federal Government had taken steps to improve the nation’s water resources and its environment.
According to him, virtually every part of the country has sufficient water, but the challenge really is which technology is more suitable for which particular area of the country.
“ This is one of the reasons why we desire to collaborate with the State of Israel to further harness our water resources and the environment for more productivity.’’
The permanent secretary said that Nigeria was practicing irrigation system of agriculture with large arid zones similar to that of Israel, adding that the country needed to acquire Israeli’s skill for improvement.
Also, Mrs Nana Mede, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment, remarked that the event came at a better time when Nigerian government was trying to provide a sustainable environment for its citizens.
“I wish to say that this is an opportunity to look at the outcome of the conference in Israel and I belief that the outcome will be of great importance to Nigeria.
“And we all know that even though, Israel is a desert more or less, but when you visit the State of Israel, you will find fresh fruits, vegetables and food all year round,’’ Mede said.
Mede said that Nigeria government would want to know how Israel had been able to convert its desert land to fruitful land to improve, especially the northern part of the country.
Mr Raanan Adin, a keynote speaker, who presented a paper titled: “Integrated Water Cycle Challenges and Solutions“, said that the secret behind Israel’s improvement in its water and environment lied on discovery of technologies.
According to Adin, Israel in 1964 takes water from the Sea of Galilee down to other parts of the country by converting the sea water in to drinkable water through the process known as “desalinisation’’.
He said that by the process, the salty water from the sea could be converted to freshwater by removing its salty and mineral content.
“Israel is the first country in the world to adopt this technology. Israel also undertakes other processes including wastewater reclamation among others to convert them into potable water.
“These standards are a major driving force in the development of water, industries and sustainable energy sector and through this, Israel has been able to overcome its challenges,’’ Adin said.
Earlier, Mr Uriel Palti, Israeli’s Ambassador to Nigeria, represented by Ambassador Benny Omer, said that Israeli’s government was committed to assist Nigeria to overcome its water and environmental challenges.