The Lagos State Government has restated its position that it has not introduced charges for the consumption of water from boreholes neither has it criminalised the sinking of boreholes.
The Commissioner for the Environment, Dr. Babatunde Adejare made the disclosure while answering questions from the media in his office recently.
Dr Adejare, who seized the opportunity to clarify the position of Lagos State Government on the sinking of boreholes and on water charges, stated that the environment protection and management law recently signed by His Excellency, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, the Governor of Lagos State would not in any way prevent people’s access to good and potable water.
For commercial users of borehole, the Environment Commissioner stressed that some measure of control and charges were applicable as water is a resource that must be protected.
He said that the requirement for permit should not be misconstrued for indiscriminate charges as registration of all boreholes in the state was necessary for government to have an inventory of sources and quality of water used by the people in the state and track sources of pollution of the underground water.
“The essence of obtaining permit is not pecuniary but to create and enhance a database of boreholes, ascertain quality of water being consumed by Lagosians and track the sources of underground water pollution.
“Without a doubt, water is a resource that ought to be protected and this is why the government recognizes the need to minimize the pollution of the underground water by controlling indiscriminate sinking of boreholes which is a factor contributing to such pollution,” he maintained.
According to him no responsible government would fold its arms and allow uncontrolled pollution of the underground water through indiscriminate sinking of boreholes as boreholes are windows into the aquifer.
“By controlling the sinking of boreholes, we would have done a lot to curtail the outbreak of water borne diseases” he stressed.
He stated further that the law on water charges was not an introduction of the new law signed by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode as it had been in existence since 2004 to control indiscriminate sinking of boreholes, adding that the law was not meant to encumber the people.
Adejare who defined commercial usage of borehole as the consumption of minimum of 50 drums per day, stressed that no individual or household could use 50 drums in a day, except for commercial purpose, adding that only commercial users such as Soft drink manufacturers, Water production plant will be asked to pay.
The Commissioner stressed that without a doubt, the Lagos State Government was not anti-people as it is always out to protect the interest of the people and also carries them along by running inclusive governance.