Dr. Martin Eduvie, Head of Training, National Water Institute (NWRI) Kaduna, warned farmers not to use wastewater for irrigation.
He said on Saturday in Kaduna to the Nigeria News Agency (NAN) that some farmers rely on water from drains, toilets, septic tanks or pasture, including irrigation, which are not ideal for agriculture.
He said that in most cases, wastewater from industry moves into the river, and from there farmers directly use water, not knowing that most of the water from the wastewater and industries contains chemicals that are not suitable for plants.
Eduvie advised consumers to be careful about the source of their vegetables, how they smell, and how long the vegetables last.
He added, however, that the question of how long long vegetables may not be directly related to the type of water used in irrigation is until studies are conducted.
He said that farmers could use cheaper methods of obtaining good water, for example, tube wells in the zones of Fadam, saying that there were many people willing to help them have tube wells that they could use both for agricultural purposes and for drinking .
He confirmed the institute’s willingness to train local farmers on how to acquire such a water supply system, adding that “NWRI offers a free drilling and drilling advisory service.
“We teach farmers the best water sources for their plants, how to go about finding water, and also teaching them health hazards when using unsuitable water for irrigation in humans.
In the meantime, a NAN correspondent who bypassed farms in Rigas, a local government district of Igabi, Kaduna State, found that most farmers use gutter water for irrigation.
Malam Musa Mohammed, a dry season peasant in Rigas, the local government district of Ibabi, Kaduna State, said that 75 percent of the water used on his farm was from a trench.
He explained that most farmers in the area believe that the water from the gutters contains the nutrients that plants need to grow faster and believed that this does not affect people.
Mohammed said that most local farmers preferred wastewater to crops such as tomatoes, lettuce, carrots, vegetables, okra, onions, and cabbage, among others, cultivated during the dry season.
Another farmer, Usman Aminu, also said that wastewater is considered an inexpensive fertilizer, because most farmers think that it contains nutrients.
He said that last year, due to climate change, most wheat farmers recorded huge losses due to water scarcity in the northern states, saying: "We depend on wastewater so that our crops do not die."