Unclean Pure Water in Nigeria
“Pure Water” as a name is an illusion as far as this side of the clime is concerned. Saying ‘water is pure’ is just a means to psychologically brainwash customers into believing they are getting good value for their money. Is it really pure? As much as the average Nigerian is concerned, the majority of the time, quantity supersedes quality.
There was indeed a time in Nigeria where citizens could practically drink water directly from their taps. A time when boreholes were not the order of the day. A time when the water board supplied water on a daily basis and we all drank without fear. Those days are no more, except in some few states like Enugu.
This gave rise to the Pure Water Business, as demand increased. The regulatory authorities like NAFDAC had to put checks in place to ensure clean and hygienic water was being supplied. However, we live in a country of over 190million people and somehow even NAFDAC may have lost count of pure water producing companies.
Citizens do not even mind as long as they get the product to immediately quench their thirst; especially in traffic where you have all sorts of hawkers selling different kinds of product just to make ends meet, NAFDAC registered or not.
Going by all these happenings, we will discover that we have somehow replaced quality with quantity. Only very few bother to check if the pure water is NAFDAC approved or not. How are we even sure the ones with NAFDAC numbers on them are truly registered? Anyone can write any number on any product and claim it is NAFDAC.
As we champion the need for Clean Water in our environment, we should take into cognizance, the fact that not all things called “Pure” are indeed so. Perhaps, we should be asking the question How Pure is Pure Water?
According to a news report by guardian in 2015, some water producers do not even know the basic requirement such as the pH scale of 7 as being good for human consumption. In a bid to kick off production, many sink their boreholes and immediately, they start packaging. It is interesting to know that sachet water producers are supposed to get a NAFDAC recertification after every two years and five years for bottled water producers. In actual fact, the NAFDAC number on sachet water and bottled water ought to be different, but some water producers only go as far as using the same number for both products, only removing the alphabet “L” for the sachet water and place the number directly for bottled water.
One thing driving the surge in water production is the public demand for the products, especially in the dry season. Consumers do not even bother to check or verify the authenticity of the product they consume as the need to be satisfied sometimes overshadows the need for a quality product.
The effects of climate change such as drought, change in rainfall distribution, flooding, drying up of rivers, continues to increase, the impacts on those in rural areas who depend on water from rivers and streams continues to worsen. While they do not have access to clean water in the rural areas, majority in the urban areas are no different.