By Oluwakemi Ishola
The Oyo State Chapter of Association of Waterwell Drilling Rig Owners and Practitioners (AWDROP), has raised an alarm that many parts of Nigeria is mostly like to experience terrible water drought due to indiscriminate drilling of boreholes by foreign borehole drillers in the country.
The association made the disclosure when its State Chairman, Engr. Yinka Kolawole, addressed journalists at the NUJ Press Centre, Iyaganku – Ibadan on Sunday.
Kolawole, who was supported by the association’s Vice-Chairman, Mr. Deji Araromi; State Secretary, Mr. Kehinde Olaniyi; Public Relations Officer, Mr. Oluwaseyi Ojo; and Director of Protocol and Strategic Planning, Mr. Ayo Akinyemi, noted that foreign borehole drillers had earlier done what they are doing in Nigeria presently in Tanzania, Ethiopia and a part of India, which made the governments of those countries to check their activities.
Engr. Kolawole clarified that AWDROP is not against foreign borehole drillers from operating in Nigeria, but they must be put under a body like AWDROP to check their activities in order to protect Nigerian environment.
He noted that the way people have been drilling boreholes in many parts of the country, including Ibadan, Lagos, Ogun, Abuja and other places called for a great concern.
In his words: “Most of these Asian drillers left their countries to make money in Nigeria. In fact, most of them have been doing capital flight. We have gone on research on what they are doing. But the government is yet to acknowledge what we are doing, maybe because our industry is not a very loud one.
“Now, they have been doing indiscriminate drillings in Nigeria. Before we came in, most of the depths of drillings were about 40 metres, 50 metres and we had good water everywhere. But when they (Asian drillers) came in, they started drilling 100, 200, and 300 metres. They have really gone into the earth core, which made us to research on them. We discovered that India is facing a major problem concerning underground water supply now because they have done the same thing they are doing to Nigeria now to India.
“So, our advice to the government is that they should empower AWDROP under our National President, Michael Ale, to raise the benchmark for the depths that all borehole should go. Right now, we have so much around and probably within the next 10 years, we will be having challenges of water because they have gone to the depths that they should not have gone into. If they don’t stop now, we will be in a big problem. You can go on Google and see what they have done to India. They have virtually stopped drilling in some parts of India because they are facing serious drought in those areas. The story is the same in Ethiopia and Tanzania.”
The association, at the press briefing, announced the expulsion of its 10 members, based on contraventions of the AWDROP constitution.
Kolawole lamented that hoodlums always disturb members of the association whenever they go out to drill boreholes legally. “We are always accosted by the hoodlums, who have always been collecting money from us forcefully, we call on the State government and security agencies to come to our rescue” he said..
The association while commiserating with Oyo State Government on the death of Honorable Commissioner for Environment and Natural Resources, Rt. Hon. Kehinde Ayoola, enjoined Governor Seyi Makinde to appoint a competent individual like late Ayoola who really understood environmental matters.