The Lagos State Government, on Thursday, inaugurated a Technical Advisory Committee on Green Climate Fund to proffer lasting and sustainable solutions to the challenges facing the water sector.
Speaking at the inauguration of the committee at Alausa, Honourable Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr Tunji Bello said the Committee is saddled with the responsibility of developing a bid for the Green Climate Fund (GCF) within six months from the date of inauguration.
Bello explained that the Green Climate Fund is dedicated to helping developing countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emission and enhance their ability to respond to climate change.
He said, “In order to chart a way forward for improved service delivery, especially as these sectors are inter-related, Lagos State Government, Water Aid (UK) and Artic Infrastructure agreed to set up the technical committee on Green Climate Fund Bid”.
He said the GCF was formally established in 2010 within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to offer funding support to developing countries in responding to Climate Change challenges.
Revealing that the Advisory Committee is expected to develop priority projects for investments in Water, Sanitation, Drainage, Flood Defence and Power sectors, Bello emphasised that the committee would provide technical details for the development of a bid and Green Climate Fund (GCF) concept note.
The Commissioner stated further that the committee will engage with relevant stakeholders in Lagos State and at the Federal Government level to generate support for a bid, emphasising that the Committee will also seek early support and partnership from relevant GCF accredited organisations, such as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the African Development Bank, amongst others, when the need arises.
He said at the community level, the initiative is envisaged to increase access to safe water, sustainable sanitation and reduce the incidence of flooding while protecting homes and livelihood, stressing that the initiative was designed to reduce the climate risk index in the State, reduce airborne and waterborne diseases, as well as reduce pollution and contamination of water resources to ensure public health safety.
The Commissioner averred that the burden of funding developmental projects are enormous and cannot be shouldered by the State Government alone, noting that the proposed initiative provides a strong opportunity to reduce the infrastructural deficit in the identified sectors.
Earlier, the Special Adviser on Drainage and Water Resources, Engr. Joe Igbokwe stated that smaller cities across the world have accessed the GCF fund, declaring that Lagos State with a large population should not be an exception.
He charged the Committee to work as a team and identify critical projects, stressing that the Ministry is set to support the members in order to make the job easier.
In his response, the Chairman of the Committee and Permanent Secretary, Office of Drainage Services and Water Resources, Engr. Olalekan Shodeinde gave an assurance that the committee members would hit the ground running immediately and work hard to achieve the desired goals.
He said the Government has been working on the project for over a year with the purpose of showcasing Lagos State to the world, adding that the Committee will ensure they appraise problems and proffer lasting solutions.
Shodeinde said the government had issues in funding some projects related to water sanitation, open defecation, hygiene, energy and drainages, as such the Committee will ensure it presents sustainable projects that can be showcased to attract grants or loans from GCF.
Other speakers at the inauguration ceremony include the Technical Lead, WaterAid Nigeria, Mr Adebayo Alao; Project Director, Arctic Infrastructure, Mr Lookman Oshodi and Senior Policy Analyst, Water Aid United Kingdom, Mr John Garrett amongst others.