As part of efforts towards protecting Nigeria’s groundwater from contamination occasioned by mining activities, and also safeguard the health and well-being of Nigerians, the Minister of Water Resources, Engr. Suleiman Adamu, has initiated a high powered deliberation with the Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mallam Muhammad Musa Bello, to articulate best strategies to tackle the trend in the capital territory of Abuja.
At the meeting in Abuja, Tuesday 18th August, Engr. Adamu said it was a follow up to a video that went viral on various Social Media Platforms decrying the mining of “Gold” taking place in Kutasa Community in Karshi, Abuja Municipal Area Council and causing contamination and pollution to the water source for the area, in addition to its resultant environmental degradation.
Adamu explained that upon receiving the reports of the mining activities in that area, he had directed one of his ministry’s agencies, Nigeria Water Integrated Management Commission (NWIMC)to visit the community, and carry out thorough investigation, result of which is an affirmation of the viral video, noting that the commission, additionally, “flew a ‘red flag’ to us that must not be allowed to fly further.” He stressed that his ministry will not allow the experience of Niger State where several people died of lead poisoning to repeat itself in FCT.
“The meeting was, therefore, to articulate strategies aimed at ending the negative activities of mining in Abuja as well as in Nigeria as a whole. It will also afford the ministers a good opportunity to harmonize their positions before further meeting with the Minister of Mines and Steel Development,” he noted.
Responding, Minister of the FCT, Mallam Muhammad Musa Bello, noted, with dismay, that the company undertaking the mining activities in Kutasa community was not even granted lease to mine gold in that community, an action that runs contrary to the existing mining policy of the territory.
Mallam Bello also used the forum to point out a similar development going on at Jabi Lake, which, he said, is presently getting contaminated as a result of human activities and population growth around the area, lamenting also such similar activities at Lower Usuma Dam, and called for proactive measures to save the two water bodies.
He appreciated Engr. Adamu for the inter-basin water transfer from Gurara Dam in Niger State to Lower Usuma Dam in FCT, apart from particularly, commending the Water Resources Minister on his efforts to carry out the Executive Order 009 towards ending Open Defecation in the country.
He said FCT Administration has effectively keyed into the programme to end Open Defecation in Nigeria, assuring that his ministry will soon commence the construction of public toilets in all public facilities in the FCT.