Treat Water Before Use, Nigerians Tasked

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Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole

By; MATTHEW  UKACHUNWA, Lagos

The need to treat water before it can be safe for human consumption has been emphasized by an international facility management consultant.

Engr. Afolabi O. Adedeji, Managing Director/Chief Executive, Afolabi  Adedeji & Associates, expressed the concern because there are many water-borne and enteric diseases.

The diseases that can be caused by bad water which he listed are:  Cholera, dysentery, Guinea worm, infectious hepatitis, gastro-enteritis hookworm, Bilharzin, Schistosomiasis, among others.

“The detailed exposition of these may form the subject of another article,” Adedeju wrote.

He recommended that certain simple measures such as boiling of water before drinking, filtration, storage, chlorination, protection of water sources from faecal pollution (or human and animal faeces), good environmental sanitation and so on could be very effective in achieving the goal of water treatment.

According to Adedeji, “preventing water-borne diseases could also help reduce premature death.”

He pointed out that Cholera has been known to ‘take out’ victims within 72 hours if it is not managed and treated well.

Treating water before consumption, the facility manager noted, promotes the economy of useful time that may otherwise be lost during illness by young, active and gainfully employed Nigerians.

Adedeji added that treating water lowers government expenditure on public health and medical services – things which developing countries can hardly afford.

The facility management consultant highlighted other key points in the form of questions for consideration in relation to the supply of potable water.

He asked:  “Will NAFDAC (National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control) continue to have a role in regulating the ‘pure water’ (or sachet water) industry and manufacture of bottled/mineral water, or will this agency’s role begin to diminish with the passage of time?”

Adedeji also wanted to know whether there is any possibility in the immediate or distant future of nationwide or worldwide ‘security’  of especially drinking water.

Another question that he posed is whether there is economic or commercial future for the ‘pure water’ or sachet water industry and the ‘upper-scale’ bottled water/mineral water industry in Nigeria?

“How attractive and/or feasible is water recycling in Nigeria?” he sought, stressing that that has been ‘standard practice’ for many decades in a country like Great Britain – Nigeria’s former colonial master.”

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