WATER due to its uniqueness and usefulness is regularly sought from different sources. A very recent poll conducted by NOI Polls found that “pure” water is the number one source of drinking water in Nigerian households. Compared with other sources such as piped water on premises, private and public boreholes, “pure” water is synonymous with availability and affordability; two qualities that might have increased its use and popularity in homes.
But what then, is it about “pure” water? Typically, the environmental effects of this major source of drinking water are taken for granted in Nigeria and some consequences cannot be ignored;
One fact is that materials from which the sachets are made are not biodegradable. Once disposed (even on landfills), empty sachets remain somewhat intact except for some wear and tear caused by weather conditions. As a result, these linger and litter our environment!
An inspection of our localities is convincing. Empty sachets are major constituents of the debris that clog most drainage channels. The resulting accumulated stagnant water then poses a great threat to the surrounding population not only because these areas very quickly become breeding places for mosquitoes which transmits malaria - a life threatening disease; but also because there is higher risk of floods when it rains. In this case, both lives and properties are endangered.
No doubts, efforts to reduce impacts by some state environmental management authorities have been commendable but as individuals or communities, here are some ways to get involved and make a difference:
Purify your water
Know the different options and techniques that are effective and available within your localities for purifying water by seeking information and details from government agencies and NGOs concerned with water issues. You may be surprised at how simple and not-so-expensive they are.
Recycle empty sachets
Consider recycling your empty bags. Seriously don’t waste time imagining what it could be used for, just check this site. So, rather than drop them carelessly, you could deliberately collect them separately for recycling and even earn a reward! (...and don’t forget to tell your neighbours :) ).
If you live in Lagos, you may go to these centres although, several other companies collect them. Not very surprising, I was not able to find similar services in Abuja. Common, the city’s slogan is not even ‘centre of excellence’ or ‘centre of commerce’ –what then do you expect!
Participate in neighbourhood clean-ups or better still initiate the activity (it’s not as hard as you think and we are willing to work with you). Here, you will find helpful organising tips.
District heads, local government chairmen, decision makers, policy makers, legislators and relevant stakeholders should know the extent to which you are affected and the concerned root causes. Town hall meetings, campaigns on social media such as Facebook, twitter, and the likes, phone-in radio or television programmes are some of the many ways you can have your say.
And yes……..its fine…….you can as well start from here. Let’s hear from you!
Photo credit: Ademola Olaniran & Gladys Durojaiye.