By Lola Omowaye & Bukola Olamona
A Nigerian Soil and Water Resources Management expert based in Germany, Dr. Kenedy Doro has called for urgent and pragmatic approach to manage soil and water to avoid looming crisis across the country.
He made the call while delivering the eleventh Annual Lecture of the School of Sciences at the Federal University of Technology, Akure, which was held at the Theodore Idibiye Francis Auditorium.
Doro who works at the In Situ Geotechnologies Department, Fugro Germany, Land GmbH, Germany spoke on the topic: “Data Driven Policies: A Challenge for Academics and Case for Soil and Water Resources in Nigeria”.
Assessing the situation of Soil and Water Management in Nigeria, he said “with the increasing threats of soil and water resources in Nigeria, the urgent need for pragmatic steps both by government and the populace to protect these resources and better manage them to avoid a looming crisis cannot be over emphasized”.
Speaking on the effectiveness of data in soil and water management, Doro said “with the current level of advancement in software, instrumentations, computational power and techniques, the possibility of acquiring and processing large amount of data in virtually most aspects of human endeavor has greatly increased.
For the case of soil and water resources, applying such data driven policy strategy will require a scientific data base, containing the appropriate qualitative and quantitative data sets, describing the state of, as well as the physical and bio-geochemical processes occurring in soil and water systems”.
Comparing Nigeria and Germany vis-à-vis soil and water resources management, the Don said “the geology and other factors unique to Nigeria must be critically evaluated in formulating and implementing measures to address the challenges in the country.
It is worth noting that the challenge with access to clean water and soil as well as the need to protect them is not unique to the country. One of the ways through which surface and groundwater is protected in Nigeria as in most developed countries is through the establishment of water protection zones.
Such protection zones,he said, usually consist of zone 1, 2 and 3A & B with increasing distance from the water body or drinking water source”.
According to Doro the delineation of water protection zones must follow strict and well outlined guidelines. He said a detailed experimental and qualitative analysis of flow and transport parameters including hydraulic conductivity, porosity, velocities are prerequisites for delineating protecting zones.
He recommended the delineation of 50 days line as the boundary between zones 2 and 3A. He said “this implies a residence time of 50 days before water from outside the boundary will arrive at the protected source.
Dr. Doro, who appreciated the contributions of the academic community to soil and water resources management in Nigeria admonished it to do more. “The volume of research carried out till date on soil and water resources in Nigeria is acknowledged. However, there is a further challenge in scientists working on soil, water and related research areas to channel currently available research resources towards experimental and numerical studies that would help provide the needed data base for a data driven policy approach.
In his address, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Joseph Fuwape, who chaired the event said the title of the lecture is apt and appropriate for the development of national policy on water management.
According to him, good quality data are essential for governments and institutions to accurately plan, fund and evaluate development activities. He described the Guest Lecturer as highly skilled in conducting need driven research to generate data that are converted into information that are easy to understand by the users.
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