Nigeria: The lack of drinking water and dangers of water boreholes
Filed Under: Health & Science, World | Posted: 03/24/2010 at 5:53AM
Comments | Region: Nigeria
In classical physics, the study of fundamental principle of matter gave us the law of conservation of matter which states that matter can neither be created nor destroyed. Water is a matter and the quantity of water in
In terms of provision of drinking water to poor populace, we do not have to necessarily compare
The costs of setting up water treatment plants are minimal compare to the waste that
UNESCO documented that, “Water-related diseases are among the most common causes of illness and death, affecting mainly the poor in developing countries. They kill more than 5 million people every year, more than ten times the number killed in wars. The diseases can be divided into four categories: water-borne, water-based, water-related, and water-scarce diseases.”
The consequences of drinking contaminated and polluted water in
Waterborne diseases have causative agents and “are caused by pathogenic microorganisms which are directly transmitted when contaminated fresh water is consumed. Contaminated fresh water, used in the preparation of food, can be the source of food borne disease through consumption of the same microorganisms. According to the World Health Organization, diarrheal disease accounts for an estimated 4.1% of the total DALY global burden of disease and is responsible for the deaths of 1.8 million people every year. It was estimated that 88% of that burden is attributable to unsafe water supply, sanitation and hygiene, and is mostly concentrated in children in developing countries. Waterborne disease can be caused by protozoa, viruses, or bacteria, many of which are intestinal parasites,” according to Wikipedia.
Nigeria according to UN’s IRIN humanitarian information unit, “Guinea worm and onchocerchiasis( River blindness) are endemic water-borne diseases in certain parts of Africa’s most populous country (Nigeria) of more than 120 million people. UNICEF had decided to emphasise water and environmental sanitation after realising that the occurrence of diarrhea, a major childhood killer in
In search of drinking water
Due to the government inefficiency especially on the State and Local government levels, the energetic and pragmatic Nigerians are restoring to digging water boreholes for our children and families to quench the water thirst. The people cannot wait any longer for their elected officials, who refused to do the job of providing clean water to their neglected constituents.
Gradually the governments are joining the people in digging water boreholes and even appointing commissioners who channel funds for the project. This might look good even sounds good but the government in this case is in the wrong direction. The government should go and resuscitate the dormant water work plants and rebuild them. Then start providing tap drinking water and not digging boreholes.
Most of these boreholes are exposed to underground pathogens and pollutants especially E-coli that is responsible for stomach upset that comes with diarrhea and massive lose of fluids. In the underground the water might also be exposed to natural radionuclides and nature’s occurring hazardous metals (As, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Hg, Mn, Ni, Pb, Sn, and Tl) these heavy metals as they are called are toxic with carcinogenic properties. Therefore it is highly recommended and intrinsic that water from the boreholes is sampled for laboratory analysis and bio-chemical analytical before consumption.
On this World Water Day, Nigerian government must understand the ramification of abandoning its basic responsibility to the people. The government should provide to the people of
Dedicated to the World Water Day
Emeka Chiakwelu is the Principal Policy Strategist at Afripol Organization. Africa Political and