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Thursday, July 18, 2024

Irrigation: Promote Quality Water For Safe Crop Production, FG Urges Women

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The Federal Ministry of Water Resources (FMWR) has urged women, farmers, to promote the attainment of quality water for safe crop production through irrigation.

Mrs Esther Oluniyi, a Director, the Department of Irrigation and Drainage, FMWR, made the plea on Thursday at a sensitisation and training workshop on Women/Gender Participation in Water Users’ Association (WUA).

The training workshop, aimed at maintaining acceptable water quality and hygiene for irrigation agriculture, was held at the premises of the Middle Ogun-Osun Irrigation Project in Iseyin.

It was organised by the ministry in collaboration with the Ogun-Osun River Basin Authority.

Oluniyi said: “The quality of water used for irrigation is essential for the yield and quantity of crops, maintenance of soil productivity and protection of the environment.

“Also, of great relevance is to human health as regards the consumption of some food items eaten directly or mildly cooked.

“Apart from consuming the right quantity of food, the nutritional aspect is also of great significance.

“The physical and mechanical properties of the soil, soil structure (stability of aggregates) and permeability are very sensitive to the type of exchangeable ions present in irrigation waters.”

She further explained that the workshop was to enlighten and encourage everyone, both young and old, most especially, women and youths on the need to adopt appropriate and safe practices while discharging wastewater and every other waste product.

Oluniyi said that women and youths were hugely involved directly or indirectly in the use of water in homes for domestic purposes such as cooking, bathing and washing.

She added that women and youths also get engaged in irrigated agriculture, either for commercial or subsistence purposes.

Oluniyi said: “A well-structured WUA promotes regular enlightenment of members on appropriate practices that would ensure good quality of water for irrigated farming.

“Hence, the conception and initiation of this sensitisation and training workshop to enlighten and encourage women and all genders to participate actively in WUAs.

“It will increase the awareness level on the right and safe techniques to adopt, while disposing or discharging wastewater, in order not to compromise the quality of water meant for irrigation.

She enjoined all leaders in the area to encourage all community members “to desist from inappropriate practices when using water for various purposes”.

According to her, they need to stop washing, defecating, bathing and dumping of solid wastes in irrigation structures, including, rivers, streams, lakes, ponds and other water bodies.

She urged all the beneficiaries of the workshop to participate actively and grasp more knowledge on the needs, appropriate and safe practices to adopt while discharging wastes.

“This is necessary in order not to compromise the quality and suitability of water meant for irrigation,” she said.

Some of the participants, Mrs Hummu Abiola and Mrs Victoria Adewoyin appreciated the Federal Government for organising the workshop.

Abiola expressed optimism that the knowledge gained from the workshop would enhance her irrigation farming practice.

Also, Adewoyin appealed to the government to assist them more in the area of irrigation equipment to enable them to expand their farming activities.

More than 200 women and youths participated in the one-day workshop.

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