Water Crisis Sparks Health Emergency In Nigeria As Citizens Turn To Unsafe Sources

In response to a drastic surge in the prices of packaged water, Nigerians are resorting to unclean water sources, raising concerns among health experts about potential outbreaks of water-borne diseases.

Health experts, including Dr. Roland Aigbove, former Chairman of Association Resident Doctors (ARD), FCT Chapter, and Dr. Ken Ozoilo, former President of Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria (MDCAN), warn of the looming public health crisis due to the increased consumption of unwholesome water.

The recent strike by the Abuja chapter of the Association of Table Water Producers (ATWAP) resulted in a 200% price hike for water, attributing it to inflation and rising production costs. 

This has led many Nigerians, grappling with economic challenges, to turn to alternative but unsafe water sources.

The situation has prompted citizens like Halima Musa and Kosara Ibeh to share their struggles with rising water costs. 

Musa notes the skyrocketing prices of sachet water in Jikwoyi, while Ibeh highlights the desperate measures her neighbors are taking, resorting to drinking water from unsafe boreholes and wells.

Dr. Aigbove expresses concern about the potential increase in hospitalizations, emphasizing the dangers of consuming water from unhealthy environments. 

Dr. Ozoilo calls the situation catastrophic, stressing the centrality of water to public health management.

As citizens face difficulties in accessing affordable and clean water, there are growing fears that the current water crisis may exacerbate existing public health challenges in Nigeria, including the ongoing battle against Lassa fever.

Kosara Ibeh urges government intervention, especially at the local level, to prevent a catastrophic public health challenge that could overwhelm the already strained healthcare facilities in the FCT. 

The cost of water, a basic necessity, has become a critical issue impacting the well-being of Nigerians, demanding urgent attention to safeguard public health.

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