Concern has been raised over the increasing rate of haphazard drilling of boreholes in Nigeria by quacks.
Speaking at the 53rd Annual International Conference and Exhibition of the Nigerian Society for Mining and Geosciences in Abuja, Nigeria Minister of Water Resources earlier this week expressed that the boreholes are likely to affect ground water longevity.
In a report by UNICEF about the manually drilled boreholes in Nigeria, an estimation of about 200 drilling enterprises are operating in Lagos, employing about 1,000 men. For Nigeria as a whole, there are even more.
With its relatively low entry barrier (about$ 2,000 for a set of drilling tools), manual drilling industry is attracting new recruits. Manual drilling is thus providing much-needed employment, most of which is within the informal economy.
The manually drilled boreholes themselves are affordable, usually at a cost of less than $ 2,500 each. They can also be constructed in small spaces, and in parts of the city where conventional drilling equipment could never reach.
Mr. Suleiman Adamu said it was time Nigeria sought ways to protect her surface and underground water resources effectively sighting an instance where households are drilling boreholes within three meters yet the people around are not mindful of the interference.
He told them instead of spending too much money like they were already doing, they could have a single unit to serve people. He also cautioned against the excessive exploitation of ground water resources to an extent that there will not be much left for future generations.
The minister said the National Water Resources bill, approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC), would soon be forwarded to the National Assembly. The bill, which consists of a modeling regulation to monitor exploitation of ground water resources, will ensure the setting up of a hydro-drilling industry in the country.
He was also quick to add that the lack of proper regulation in drilling activities had made it an all comers industry, undermining activities of members of the society.