(L-R) Hon. Ayoola Oluajo, Vice Chairman, Abeokuta North Local Government; Mrs. Joy Abdullahi-Johnson, Marketing and Category Manager, Nestlé Waters; Engr. Razak Ojetola, Permanent Secretary, Ogun State Ministry of Environment; Otunba Olufemi Odumosu, Managing Director, Ogun Oshun River Basin Development Authority and Dr Oladimeji Oresanya, Ogun State Commissioner for Environment.
22ndMarch to commemorate World Water Day 2023. Aimed at promoting sustainable
water stewardship practices, the forum had over 400 stakeholders drawn from the public
and private sectors across Ogun State.
World Water Day is a United Nations’observance day to raise awareness about the
inaccessibility of water for billions of people globally and to advocate the sustainable
management of freshwater resources. Without access to water resources, communities
are faced with higher risk of disease, food insecurity, environmental degradation, and
The theme for this year’sevent, “Accelerating Change”,draws attention to the need for
fast-trackingactions to solve the global water and sanitation crisis.
Oladimeji Oresanya, Ogun State Commissioner for Environment, said, “The event today is
not just another talk show, butan opportunity for productive engagement with all stakeholders
to undertake a critical diagnosis of issues affecting the sector toprofferpractical and
sustainablesolutions. Be assured that the Ministry is committed to accelerating positive
change in the water sector to ensure water and sanitation for all in line with Sustainable
Development Goal 6. I commend companies who have embraced water stewardship and are
executing initiatives and projects, towards sustainable water management and governance in
Wassim Elhusseini, MD/CEO Nestlé Nigeria PLC, represented by Category and Marketing
Manager Nestlé Waters, Joy AbdullahiJohnson, said, “We are delighted to have this
opportunity to celebrate World Water Day 2023 in collaboration with the Ogun State
Ministry of Environment. The theme for this year, “Accelerating Change” is very
significant in view of our shared commitment to increase access to clean, safe water,
[sanitation, and hygiene facilities (WASH) within our communities. Nestlé Nigeria is
committed to protecting the environment for future generations and caring for water is
one of the ways we do this. In line with this commitment, we work together with key
stakeholders to address shared watershed challenges. We also continuously improve
water efficiency across our operations and reduce water withdrawals in our factories by
managing and reusing water”.
Delivering the keynote lecture, the Managing Director, Ogun Oshun River Basin Development
Authority, Otunba Olufemi Odumosu said,“Water is essential to ife, but water stress threatens
supplies. Providing access to safe water is one of the most effective instruments for poverty
alleviation and reduction. This year’s theme emphasizes the need to speed up action towards
sustainable management of this limited resource, with only 7 years left to achieve the SDGs”.
According toSola Ogunbor, the Program Manager, Ogun State Rural Water Supply and
Sanitation Agency, “Mismanagement of water resources today will cost everyone a lot more
in the future. Accelerating change entails making a difference by taking smal steps in the right
direction, being thechange we want to see in the world. Our Agency is committed to ensuring
that more people in our rural communities in Ogun State have unrestricted access to safely
managed water and sanitation facilities”.
The World Water Day 2023 celebration included the second edition of the roundtable
discourse on“WaterGovernance in Ogun State–Progress so far, Challenges and
Roadmap”. Panelists from the private and public sectors in Agbaraand Sagamu
comprised Nestlé Nigeria PLC, Apple and Pears, Ogun State Ministry of Environment,
Ogun State Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency, Ogun Oshun River Basin
Development Authority and the Nigerian Institute of Water Engineers.
Water is a shared and precious resource that affects everyone. It is the most critical natural
resource for human survival, after air. Yet, gobally, billions of people do not have access
to clean and safe water. An estimated 100 million Nigerians still lack basic sanitation
facilities and 63 million do not have access to improved sources of drinkingwater.
With the increasing pressure on our water resources, we all need to work together to
preserve this vital resource we al depend on. Consistent multi-stakeholder action is
requiredtoaccelerate change inhow we managethis resource to improve access and
qualityfor today while preserving it for future generations.