Provide clean water for Nigerians, expert urges FG, state govts

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Sodiq Ojuroungbe 

A professor of public health, Prof. Tanimola Akande, has urged the federal and state governments to invest heavily in projects that will help improve access to safe water for Nigerians. 

Prof. Akande, who was a former National Chairman of the Association of Public Health Physicians of Nigeria, noted that government especially in different states should seek out ways of improving access to potable water for their population.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with PUNCH Healthwise in commemoration of the 2023 World Water Day, Prof. Akande stressed that access to clean water is crucial to public health.

Speaking on the theme for the 2923 World Water Day 2023 ‘Accelerating the change to solve the water and sanitation crisis’, Prof. Akande said it is unacceptable that pipe-borne water was non-existent in many parts of the country. 

He stressed that government needs to prioritise the provision of clean water through boreholes in rural areas. 

He said, “Good water supply in rural areas is grossly inadequate in Nigeria. Most rural dwellers take water from contaminated sources like ponds, streams, and rivers. 

“Ideally, people should be able to access clean uncontaminated water close to where they live and work. The government needs to make the provision of uncontaminated water through boreholes a priority in rural areas. All levels of government and philanthropists should do this.

“Government at national, state, and local government levels should take on projects that will improve safe water supply to its citizens. 

“Well-endowed Nigerians and philanthropists can also help in this direction. People who source water from sources prone to contamination need to boil such water before use.” 

On the health implication of drinking unclean water, the public health physician said people can contract water-borne diseases like cholera, hepatitis A, typhoid, and other diarrhoea diseases. 

He added that people with water-borne diseases can experience frequent watery stool, vomiting, and sometimes fever. 

He said, “If the stooling is profuse, it can lead to body weakness, dizziness, and dehydration.

“From drinking unclean water or using such water to cook, diseases like cholera and other diarrhoea diseases, dysentery, hepatitis A, typhoid, and poliomyelitis.” 

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