Mrs Sarah Reng Ochekpe, Minister of Water Resources said at the opening of a technical session on Nigerian standard for drinking water that rapid urbanisation, discharge of new pathogens and new chemicals from industries were major contributors to the waning status of the nation’s water bodies.
“In Nigeria, water quality is declining and this is compounded by climate change as witnessed during the disastrous flood of 2012,” Ochekpe added.
The minister, represented at the session by the ministry’s Permanent Secretary said that the country was faced with huge water quality issues including point and non-point sources of pollution of drinking water.
“Inadequate disinfection of drinking water supplies before distribution by the public water supply agencies, open defecation by humans and animals leading to contamination of water sources and water bodies and washing and bathing around the sources of water bodies,” she said.
She noted that the threat posed by water quality issues require that drinking water supplies to the public must be wholesome and potable to avert ill-health.
“70 per cent of common tropical diseases are water related and can be eliminated if adequate supply of water at the right quantity and quality is provided to the public,” she noted.
Also speaking at the session, Engr. Ebele Okeke, WASH Ambassador for Nigeria said that high quality of drinking water would assist the country in reducing the growing mortality from water-borne diseases.
“The primary purpose for standardising the quality of drinking water is for the protection of the health of the people. Water is life; therefore satisfactory, adequate, safe and accessible supply must be available to all no matter their places of abode,” Okeke said.