By Tosin Kolade
A Water Resources Consultant, Mr Matthew Offie has urged Nigerians to adhere to code of practice when drilling boreholes to avoid possible shrinking of land and building collapse.
Offie told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Tuesday that it was worrisome that drilling of boreholes had become the only option which citizens relied on for getting potable water.
Describing it as `land subsidence’, the consultant said this could occur as a result of over extraction of ground water resources.
“The reason why boreholes are drilled indiscriminately is because the demand for water is high, if people don’t have water, they will drill boreholes, everyone around me has a borehole to meet the demand for water.
“Currently, regulations are not working, so we are asking that tiers of government intensify efforts to see that services are delivered.’’
According to him, drilling boreholes close to septic tanks is also worrisome, as it is a leading cause of water pollution in the environment.
He noted that boreholes should not be less than 60 meters from septic tanks, as what was being practiced in some places was having boreholes about 15 meters to septic tanks.
He said this practice was not acceptable as there was a possibility for water interactions from both points and possible contamination.
Offie noted that indiscriminate drilling of boreholes was experienced around the Lekki axis in Lagos State , saying with the provision of potable pipe borne water from the Lagos Water Corporation, most boreholes were no longer used.
He said the role of data availability could not be overemphasised in water resource management, saying this would go a long way in planning and knowing specific areas needing interventions.
“When we have data in water resources, it will help to know what to plan for, help to reduce water depletion as a result of excess drilling and withdrawal of water from underground sources.’’
He urged tiers of government to intensify efforts toward provision of potable water to citizens.
This he noted, would go a long way in reducing the current trend of drilling boreholes indiscriminately, especially by quacks and protect the nation’s groundwater resources.
NAN recalls that the Federal Ministry of Water Resources, through the Nigeria Integrated Water Resources Commission had formulated the National Drilling Code of Practice.
The Code of Practice specified the minimum requirements for drillers, supervising personnel and equipment to ensure cost effective water well construction and sustainable groundwater resources development in Nigeria.
However, water well construction remained characterised by cases of “failed hole”, poor quality service and unprofessional conduct of drillers.