Nigeria: Expert Worries Over Proliferation of Unsafe Drinking Water

November 12th, 2014 by Steve

12 September 2014

By Gabriel Olawale

The Principal Consultant, Emani Global Network Limited, Emmanuel Osiegbu has raised concern over the proliferation of unsafe drinking water in the country.

Osiegbu, who spoke at a public forum recently said the development was a source of worry because it has remained one of the routes of common health disorders such as cholera and typhoid among others.

“We have heard reports of some people producing water in their room. Some abandon the treatment of their bore holes during rainy season while others use fake materials in the production, while in some cases, no treatment is adopted at all. This attitude, one way or the other, has great impact on the overall health of the public.”

Osiegbu regretted that majority of consumers were yet to be concerned about the appearance and taste of the water they drink, in view of the invisible load of potentially harmful microorganisms as well as other contaminants that may be present in the water.

“Part of this invisible load is ‘heavy metals’ that can be very harmful to health if found in drinking water. Severe effects include reduced growth and development, cancer, organ damage, nervous system damage, and in extreme cases, death. Exposure to some metals, such as mercury and lead, may also cause development of autoimmunity, in which a person’s immune system attacks its own cells. This can lead to joint diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, and diseases of the kidneys, circulatory system, and nervous system.

He said the only way to detect the presence of heavy metals in water is through a test that can be done with reliable technology.

Unsafe water is a global public health threat that predisposes people to risk of diseases and chemical intoxication.

Osiegbu said the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, was doing its best to ensure total and continual compliance by commercial packaged water producers and ensure quality standards are sustained on an annual basis.

Out of five states monitored in Nigeria, water from Adamawa and Kogi had heavy metals.

“In the cause of screening for standard we make use of 22 parameters for physico-chemical and microbiological water testing this makes it easy to ascertain the status of the water,” he remarked.

Filed under: Africa Markets, General

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