Firm, others launch safe drinking water project
To address the rising water shortage in the North East and other Nigerian communities, some organisations have moved to provide them with safe drinking water. The EnvironFocus in partnership with interested individuals, NGOs, charities and businesses are providing lifeStraw filters, which convert contaminated water into clean, safe drinking water to the communities.
The easy-to-use filters are vital tools for some of the 780 million people who don’t have ready access to safe drinking water. The product was manufactured by Vestergaard. Founder and Principal Consultant at EnvironFocus Incorporated, Mrs. Obie Agusiegbe said the Safe Drinking Water Project provides an avenue for individuals and organizations wanting to assist a poor Nigerian school, village, orphanage, Internally Displaced People (IDP) camp, health centres etc. with access to safe and clean drinking water free of pathogenic micro-organisms that cause waterborne diseases.
According to UNICEF Nigeria, Nigeria has made substantial progress in developing policies and strategies for water supply and sanitation service delivery, but faces major challenges in translating these into action.
For instance, safe drinking water is difficult to attain without proper sanitation with 47 million people practicing open defecation (OD).But Agusiegbe said the launch will address the problem of water scarcity as an estimated 124,000 children under the age of five die every year because of diarrhea, mainly due to unsafe water, sanitation and hygiene.Lack of adequate water and sanitation, she said, are also major causes of other diseases, including respiratory infection and under-nutrition.
According to her, the recent extreme flooding event that took place in Nigeria in 2018 resulting from heavy rainfall, exacerbated by climate change, left over 18,000 men, women and children displaced from their homes and living in the camps in Anambra state alone exacerbating the need for safe drinking water.She also stressed that with the rising conflict caused primarily by Boko Haram in the North East, nearly 1.4 million children are at imminent risk of death this year.
“There are about 1.4 million men, women and children living in Internally Displaced Peoples camps in Borno State alone that lack safe drinking water.“There is an ongoing cholera outbreak that has not been eliminated and there are huge cases of Acute Watery Diarrhoea that are being reported every day due to lack of safe drinking water”, she added.