Water supply in Nigeria is a topic we don’t hear very often. Today, it is almost an alien discussion when one brings up the issue of water supply in Nigeria in any conversation. Where did we get it wrong? How did we miss the fact that just like electricity, provision of potable pipe-borne water is a basic necessity.
Water is an essential requirement for the survival of every living thing. Water supply is critical to sustainable development and economic competitiveness of any nation. As the human population increases, as people express their desire for a better standard of living, and as economic activities continue to expand in scale and diversity, the demands on freshwater resources continue to grow.
Water can be obtained from different sources including; ponds, lakes, springs, streams, rivers, infiltration galleries, wells, and stored rainwater.
Though, Nigeria is naturally blessed with tremendous water sources, Harnessing this water to meet the provision of clean water for the populace is still an issue. River Niger and River Benue is a national treasure, cutting across the wide Nigerian landscape, not to mention the presence of the endless body of the Atlantic ocean in Southern Nigeria.
A few statistics about water resources in Nigeria can be found in WhatcWash.com. They are quite focused with providing water data from various countries around the world. Ranging from a countrys’ population with access to basic water to her population with without. You will find the statistics quite incredible.
- It is no news that the water from our various bore holes might already be contaminated with faecal matter and other dissolved chemicals such as iron and manganese and a lot of man made contaminants like fuels and infiltration of chemicals from dumpsites. In Lagos alone, there are countless septic tanks and “suck-away” pits surrounding almost every house in any neighbourhood. So clearly, we know that our borehole water is not entirely potable, that is, not totally safe for drinking and even cooking in some cases.
- Water borne diseases is still prevalent in the rural areas, while the urban centres rely heavily on thousands upon thousands of sachet water popularly known as “pure water” and bottled water, of which a number of persons have even made choices on NAFDAC approved brands that are good for their health and those that are not according to their own personal judgement.
- The menace of pollution arising from improper disposal of the used sachet and bottled water can be seen in various places as they cause environmental pollution and block flood drainage channels.
I was having a conversation with a colleague one day and we were talking about the possibility of a private municipal water provision. Talking about the possibility of people investing in water processing plants. Plants capable of providing pipe borne water to homes. To me, it is a welcome idea. It portrayed an example of thinking outside the box. People spend thousands of hard earned Naira on a weekly basis to buy potable water to mount on their water dispenser. How about a time when fully processed and disinfected water no longer have to come to people’s homes through big cans and bottles but come through pipes and collected with a turn of a tap? I will not say it is not possible. It is possible! Afterall, Iju water works in Lagos still provides pipe-borne drinkable water, maybe not just sufficient enough to go round.
There are many ways to improve the standard of living of the populace.
John D. Rockefeller started a big crude oil business in the US that thrived, Aliko Dangote is building a refinery that will serve refined crude oil to millions.
Africans must change their minds and action. The key to building your continent depends on your will-power, persistent effort and action towards self liberation. Lailah Gifty Akita
Technology has taken over; ideas now rule the world.
The future of municipal water supply may not be so clearly defined under government policies and interests but how about us?
There is a probable future, a future that can help save the environment, protect lives through proper sanitation, provide employment for the unemployed and avail business opportunity for the entrepreneur. A time great individuals will invest in the business of provision of clean pipe-borne water to every home.
This future is possible.