Read to save ground water

Dr. Wale Okediran

Dr. Wale Okediran

Ashraf Aboul-Yazid

ACCRA: Dr. Wale Okediran, Secretary General of the Pan African Writers Association (PAWA) gave the opening address at Kole Gono Community Library, Accra, Ghana, celebrating the Water World Day on March 22.

The event was attended by the Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, and the UNESCO Country Representative to Ghana.

Dr. Okediran expressed his pleasure to welcome attendees to the celebration of this year’s World Water Day:

“Every year, the World Water Day highlights a specific aspect of freshwater as focus of attention. In addition, the theme also sets the focus for the annual World Water Development Report. At its meeting sometime last year, the UN decided that “Groundwater: making the invisible visible” – will be the theme for the World Water Day 2022.”

He explained: “Although Groundwater is invisible, but its impact is visible everywhere. Out of sight, under our feet, groundwater is a hidden treasure that enriches our lives. Almost all of the liquid freshwater in the world is groundwater.

It is believed that as climate change gets worse, groundwater will become more and more critical. We need to work together to sustainably manage this precious resource. While Groundwater may be out of sight, it must not be out of mind.


“It is also important to note that Groundwater is a vital resource that provides almost half of all drinking water worldwide, about 40% of water for irrigated agriculture and about 1/3 of water required for industry. Groundwater is an important part of the climate change adaptation process and it is often a solution for people without access to safe water. Therefore, a World Water Day on groundwater is very appropriate.

“Apart from putting a spotlight on this invisible resource, today’s activity will also enhance knowledge exchange and collaboration and thereby increase the awareness of the importance of taking care of our groundwater. t is no coincidence that in addition to the Water Day Celebration, the Sustainable Development Goal 6 is about “clean water and sanitation for all”.

The Official Wording of SDG 6, one of 17 Sustainable Development Goals established by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015, is: “Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.”

“As part of its efforts to promote Children’s Literature in Africa, The Africa Book Club made a call for books on the theme of Water and Sanitation,” he said.

“It’s gladdening to note that several Publishers and Authors from all over Africa responded to this call by submitting many quality books. Already a panel of Judges made up of Representatives Of the Book Industry including PAWA are currently looking at these books in order to know which of them to recommend to African Governments and Book Clubs. It is for the above reasons that the UN’s decision to celebrate a World Water Day needs to be applauded.”

Dr. Okediran concluded: “As partners in the very important business of information dissemination and education, PAWA wishes to congratulate UNESCO and all other UN Agencies on this auspicious occasion.”


Dr. Okediran has published more than 14 novels, many of which are on the reading lists of a number of Nigerian universities.

His highly acclaimed novel, Tenants of the House, a fictional account of his years in the House of Representatives, was the 2011 Co-Winner of the Wole Soyinka Prize for African Literature.

Dr. Okediran served as the National President of Association of Nigerian Authors between 2006 and 2009, the Deputy Secretary-General (Africa) for the Union of Writers from Africa, Asia and Latin America. He has consulted for several international and local development agencies such as Constella Futures International USA, National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, USIS, UNAIDS, NPHCDA, NACA, UNICEF, Health Reform Foundation of Nigeria, and Action Aid.

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