WaterAid, an international NGO, has called for the urgent protection of groundwater reserves, saying the water reserves will provide a vital buffer against climate change.
Ms Evelyn Mere, the Country Director of WaterAid, made the call in a statement in Abuja on Thursday by WaterAid’s Media Manager, Mrs Oluseyi Abdulmalik.
Mere stressed that unless tangible efforts were made to protect groundwater, many communities might not have enough water for their basic needs in the future, particularly as surface water sources might be altered through climate change.
“Groundwater provides the much-needed protection against the impacts of climate change; acting as a buffer to changing water availability and quality in many parts of the world.
“This chronic lack of enforced groundwater policies embeds the risk of over-exploitation and pollution.
“The climate clock is ticking and if efforts are not made to better understand, value and protect this vital resource, making it a central feature of climate change adaptation strategies; then we face a very bleak future,” she said.
Mere said that millions of people depended on underground water for their daily water supplies, saying: “This hidden resource provides a vital buffer against climate change.
“But is not clearly monitored and it is gravely mismanaged, needlessly putting millions of lives at risk.
“Hundreds of millions of people around the world, including millions in Nigeria, depend on groundwater for their daily needs, health and livelihoods.
“It is also the main source of water for food production and industry,” she said.