The world with Sunday Oyinloye
The devastating effects of the 2012 flood in Nigeria is still fresh in the minds of those who survived it. The impact of the flood was felt in almost all the states of the federation. My concern has to do with the attitude of state governors and the way some of them handle ecological funds. It has been alleged severally that some of these governors divert ecological funds to other uses while some out rightly embezzle them.
Another issue of concern has to do with our level of preparedness in case of future serious flooding. It is not my prayer that Nigeria should have a repeat of the 2012 tragedy, but it is just wise to prepare for unforeseen circumstances .
I want to recommend that the Dutch should be invited in solving flooding and water-related problems in Nigeria. If Nigeria manages her water resources properly, it will not only reduce flooding, it will also lead to food security. As it is today, the country spends too much on food importation.
Some might want to ask: Why the Netherlands? Why the Dutch? The answer is simple. Netherlands has one of the highest safety standards in the world when it comes to water. This explains the high demand for Dutch expertise worldwide.
It is on record that after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, the Dutch were called to help reconstruct the levels and make the city flood resilient. Little wonder, Senator Mary Landrien said “The Dutch have taught us how to live below sea level.”
You might want to ask again, why should Nigeria seek help from the Dutch? The second reason is because water no doubt will continue to dominate the world’s political and economic agenda for many more years to come. You still ask why? It is because climate change, growing. population and expanding economies all have great impact on the world’s water resources.
We should not forget that drinking water and water for agriculture remain big issues in many parts of the world, Nigeria inclusive. There is also the challenge of rising sea levels.
There is no doubt that there is the urgent need for Nigeria to rethink about the way it uses and distributes its water in order to feed its growing population. I am also suggesting a helping hand from the Netherlands because the Dutch have learned to cooperate using their creativity for survival. As Nigeria has two major rivers–Niger and Benue–the Netherlands has three major rivers– the Rhine, the Meuse and the Scheldt–which fan out across the Netherlands before flowing into the North Sea.
Perhaps many do not know that Netherlands is home to the world’s 10 best engineering firms in the water field and two world leaders in land reclamation ,dredging and costal construction. Almost all communal water is treated in the Netherlands before discharge into the rivers and canals.
The Netherlands, known for its ingenuity in food production, is also famous for its vegetables and fruits. A large proportion of the Dutch produce is exported around the world. Remember, Netherlands is the biggest trading partner of Nigeria in Europe. Why can’t we invite the Dutch to manage our water resources for the benefit of our nation and ensure food security? Nigeria depends too much on food importation which is not good for her economy.
I am therefore suggesting that we should do the right thing, think wisely and bring in those who have the technical know-how. After all, nations have comparative advantages over one another. It is not about pride but about food security, it is about averting future disasters and about securing the future of generations yet unborn.