FG seeks compliance with environmental control regulations
Nigerian Breweries and UNIDO are jointly mobilising additional resources to upscale the water balancing efforts so that overall water stress can effectively be reduced through collaborative actions; and catalyzing the development of mitigation measures through a participatory bottom process
AS public campaign against the loading of rivers and streams with municipal and human wastes intensifies, the Federal Government has urged all industries to comply with environmental pollution control regulations, especially as it relates to the discharge of industrial wastes into water bodies.
The government also called on stakeholders to facilitate the emergence of appropriate strategies for collaborative efforts towards sustainable water resources management and water stewardship in Nigeria.
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Environment, Dr. Bukar Hassan made the call at the opening of a three-day stakeholders’ workshop on Water Stewardship in Lagos, organized by Nigerian Breweries Plc in conjunction with the Federal Ministry of Environment and the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), noted that the ministry is placing more emphasis on afforestation and reforestation because of the vital roles of forests
in water resources management.
“Forests are known to have the capability of regulating surface and groundwater flows and the transfer of atmospheric moisture, including cloud formation and precipitation. Forests are key to maintaining high water quality by stabilizing soils, reducing surface erosion and sedimentation in water courses and filtering pollutants from upstream activities,” he said.
The permanent secretary who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Environment, Mr. Phillip Bankole, expressed concern over freshwater quality, in terms of pollution from domestic effluents and industrial wastewater, particularly in the coastal zone of Lagos and the oil producing Niger-Delta region, advocated for a joint implementation of policies and strategic plans on water conservation and management by governments, corporate organizations, non-governmental organizations and communities in water catchment areas.
The managing director/chief executive officer, Nigerian Breweries Plc, Mr. Nicolaas Vervelde, said the company has set out ambitious targets of reducing water consumption by 2020 to 3.5 hectoliters per hectoliters of beer in all breweries except breweries in water stressed areas that have a more stringent target of 3.3 hectoliters per hectoliters of beer.
He explained that HEINEKEN International B.V. signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) in February 2015, on the development of water stewardship programmes in selected catchment areas around the globe, creation of sustainable and inclusive supplier development Programmes and promotion of renewable energy solutions in selected countries around the world. Nigeria is one of the six countries selected across the world where the water stewardship programme will be executed. The others are Egypt, Algeria, Indonesia, Ethiopia and Mexico.
UNIDO country representative and Director for ECOWAS, Dr. David Tommy said that stewardship initiatives in countries and region classified as ‘water scarce’ and will directly support Heineken in the delivery of its commitment to reduce water consumption to 3.3 hectoliters of water per hectoliters of product in breweries located in this region. The activities will initially focus on Nigeria, Algeria, Egypt, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Mexico and Tunisia.
Tommy revealed that the workshop has worked towards bringing together stakeholders represented from government, private sector, non-governmental organizations and civil societies, academia, research institution and water as well as catchment host communities to develop and share a common vision of the root causes of cumulative water stress and necessary mitigation measures.
He reaffirmed UNIDO’s commitment towards a continued collaboration with the Nigerian Government to promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization development without compromising the environment.