Significance of UNESCO’s Invitation of Lagos into Membership of Megacities Alliance

Lagos. Photo credi. The Guardian

Lagos. Photo credit: The Guardian

Lagos, a sprawling megalopolis that grapples with the headache of king size was once described by the Atlantic as an example of urban dysfunction. That is about to change now as an opportunity to access technical and financial support for programs and projects to overcome its challenges are at its door. Here is how

The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has invited Lagos State into membership of the Megacities Alliance for Water and Climate (MAWAC), a convergence of 33 mega-cities of the world with a focus on addressing climate change challenges.

The alliance is scheduled to be formally inaugurated in January 2022 in Paris, France.

Executive Secretary of Lagos State Water Regulatory Commission (LASWARCO), Mrs. Funke Adepoju disclosed this on Wednesday at the opening ceremony of the 9th West African Clean Energy and Environment Trade Fair Conference 2021 organized by the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Ghana.

The delegation is represented in 140 locations in 92 countries abroad to foster bilateral trade relations between Germany and other regions worldwide.

Adepoju said the invitation of Lagos State as a member of MAWAC will “greatly provide an opportunity for the state to access technical and financial support for programs and projects to overcome the challenges of climate change.”

She said in the last 20 months, the state government through LASWARCO had developed frameworks and guidelines for stakeholders and service providers in the water sector in line with the regulatory mandate of the commission.

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These guidelines, according to Adepoju, include Packaged Water Service Guidelines, Regulation for Drinking Water Quality, Practice Order for Water Tankers and Groundwater Quality Control, and Drilling License Regulation.

Besides, she said the state government, through LASWARCO, also established the first state-owned Reference lab and a mobile laboratory to ensure that regulations guiding water quality surveillance and activities of service providers are grounded in evidence-based bio-science research, while the Commission was also working with the Society of Testing Laboratory Analyst of Nigeria (SoTLAN) to ensure state-wide coverage in the area of water quality testing.

“Water is critical to climate change. It is the link between the climate system, human society, and the environment. It is therefore at the forefront of mainstreaming a regulatory framework that ensures that accessing groundwater through drilling activities, abstraction, and effluent discharge are done in a responsible and sustainable manner,” she said.

For environmental sustainability, Adepoju said the Commission seeks to ensure that natural resource such as water is conserved and protected for the water ecosystem and to support health and well-being.

Indeed, Lagos needs all the helps it can get. As The Atlantic wrote: “Here and there already, the continent’s biggest cities are spawning enormous urban corridors that are spilling over borders and creating vigorous new economic zones that are outstripping the ability of weak and plodding central governments to manage or even retain their hold on them.

Lagos, which sits in the southwestern corner of Nigeria, sprawled over a collection of islands and swampy coastlands, occupies the leading edge of this phenomenon. Today, its extraordinary growth is driving sweeping changes in a five-country region that stretches 500 miles westward along with a band of palm-shaded seaboard all the way to Abidjan, Ivory Coast, a mushrooming city of perhaps six million people that has long been this region’s other major economic and cultural pole.”

Good days are ahead.