The Lagos State Government through the Lagos State Water Regulatory Commission (LSWRC) on Thursday signed a major Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a leading global organisation that is focused on Water and Sanitation, WaterAid International.
Essentially, the partnership between LSWRC and WaterAid is designed to provide the relevant knowledge needed to strengthen the Commission’s capacity to deliver on its mandate of regulating water supply and waste management services.
This will contribute to the expansion of access to Water, Sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in the State, therefore advancing efforts toward realising sustainable development goal 6 and providing clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene for everyone in a sustainable manner.
Speaking at the brief but impactful signing ceremony held at the Conference Room of Lagos State Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, Alausa, Ikeja, the Commissioner in the Ministry, Hon Tunji Bello said the collaboration was a significant milestone for the state government in the efforts to ensure clean and safe water for residents.
“This is an historic occasion for us in Lagos and I must say that we are very happy. We have a saying here in Africa that he who provides water, provides life. This partnership is a welcome development that will go a long way to enhance access to clean and safe water for residents,” Bello said.
He recalled the strategic decision of the present administration of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, upon inception, to merge Water Services with the Ministry of the Environment for proper coordination and effective service delivery, adding that the latest partnership with WaterAid would greatly help to improve capacity development and regulatory framework.
According to Bello, “This partnership is more than necessary now and we welcome it and let me assure that whatever support that is necessary to ensure the success of the collaboration will be provided.”
Earlier in her opening remarks, Executive Secretary of LSWRC, Mrs Funke Adepoju said it was gratifying that the partnership with WaterAid had finally been consummated through the signing of the MoU.
According to her, “We have waited and looked forward to this day and we are only grateful that it is finally here and the collaboration between the Lagos State Water Regulatory Commission and WaterAid has become a reality.
“The value of clean and safe water, delivered safe and healthy, at the right price, quality and quantity cannot be underestimated. The giant strides of WaterAid in advocacy initiatives on the expansion of sustainable water, sanitation and hygiene services in at-risk communities around Nigeria can only be appreciated. we thank you for this.
“Lagos State Water Regulatory Commission is indeed glad to partner with WaterAid and would obviously benefit immensely from this hand holding towards human capital development that comes with your wealth of experience, being a leading organization in the field of WASH and acceleration to attainment of SDG – 6 in Lagos state.”
Also speaking, Country Director, WaterAid Nigeria, Evelyn Mere said with the partnership, WaterAid and LSWRC were set to make a big difference towards changing the lives of people for good.
“WaterAid recognises that strong partnerships are central to achieving our goals and are very delighted to deepen this partnership with the Lagos State Water Regulatory Commission. We look forward to working with the Commission to enable them to effectively regulate the water sector and guarantee qualitative water supply services in the Centre of Excellence.
“We believe that such a partnership is timely and necessary to generate the needed momentum in fulfilling our mandates to the people. Together, we are set to make a big difference through our collective efforts in changing the lives of people for good, by providing access to sustained water supply services,” she said.
Others who participated at the hybrid signing ceremony which was physically and virtually attended include the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of the Environment and Water Services, Mrs Belinda Odeneye; and Permanent Secretary, Office of Drainage Services, Engr. Lekan Shodeinde, represented by a Director in the Office, Mrs Lanke Helen Taiwo, among others.
The Team from WaterAid include WaterAid Global Director, Rub Fuller; Global Water Advisor, John Garett; Head WASH, Mr Adebayo Alao, among others.
Through the three-year partnership, LSWRC will be supported to deliver on its mandate to regulate the water sector for expanded access to water supply and sanitation services in Lagos State through capacity building and strengthening, learning and knowledge exchange.
An organisational capacity assessment and Political Economic Analysis will also be conducted by WaterAid to identify capacity gaps and inhibitors to successful operations and functioning of the Commission.