Govt partners Israel to tackle desertification
IN a renewed effort to tackle desertification, the Federal Government has concluded plans to partner with State of Israeli on water recycling and reuse in the country.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources, Mr. Musa Istifanus revealed the plan in Abuja during a dinner organized by the ministry in partnership with the State of Israel in preparation for water technology and Environmental Control (WATEC) 2015 scheduled for October in the state of Israel.
He stated that Nigeria would encourage a technology transfer from the State of Israel on drip/sprinkler irrigation and water recycling and reuse to tackle the desertification.
Istifanus further urged the Israeli government to assist Nigeria in the development of catchment management plan for hydrological areas, water allocation strategy and tariff setting. He added that assistance is also needed through technological transfer as well as dams and irrigation management.
He pointed out that Nigeria practice of irrigation system of agriculture was similar to that of Israel, however, Israel has advanced technologically in the area of irrigation development and as such the partnership would provide opportunity for Nigeria to share ideas that would lead to high productivity in the irrigation system of the country.
His words: “The bilateral relationship between the two countries should therefore focus in this area to increase food production to feed the growing population and for exports particularly in areas of comparative advantage to Nigeria.
“It is important to collaborate with the state of Israel in the manufacturing of irrigation equipment adaptable to Nigerian ecological conditions and seek for technical assistance in the area of consultancy services for irrigation development and management. Technical staff require training in engineering technology and water requirements, water resources management, monitoring and assessment, water quality data interpretation & reporting, river health monitoring and water safety plan”, he added.
The Permanent Secretary urged interested Israeli entrepreneurs to participate in Private Public Partnership (PPP) with Nigeria in the following areas with the ministry: Development of Gurara Phase II Project to generate 360MW of electricity and irrigate 8000 hectares of land, Construction of Datsin Hausa Dam to contain the water releases from Lagdo Dam in Cameroun with the capacity to generate about 150MW and irrigate 150,000 hectares of land, construction of Donga-Suntai Integrated Project with the capacity to irrigate 35,000 hectares of land and generate 9MW of electricity.
The Special Envoy from Israel, Mr. Raanan Adin who was also the keynote speaker said that the WATEC conference would serve as an opportunity for Nigeria and Israel to share experiences in water sector development.