The Federal Ministry of Water Resources has planned to construct two additional laboratories for water quality to ensure that Nigerians have access to potable water.
Mr Habu Jamilu, the Deputy Director, Water Quality in the ministry, told newsmen in Abuja that the new laboratories would complement the six located in the geo-political zones.
He said the six laboratories are located in Akure, Kano, Gombe, Enugu, Lagos and Minna and they used to identify water pollution and its causes to apply the remedy.
Jamilu stressed the need to ensure that water quality was not compromised from the point of production to consumption, “saying it is in the overall interest of the government to promote adherence to water safety plans.’’
“We are testing villages under our comprehensive Rural Water Surveillance Programme. For now, we are supplying the kits, we believe that one day, it will be available everywhere.”
He called for adherence to the Nigerian Standard for Drinking Water, adding that water had sometimes been polluted through pipes and reticulation process, among other factors.
According to him, the government’s target is to see that each state and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have one laboratory and all 37 laboratories will be well utilised to achieve the objectives they are established.
“In order to ascertain the quality of water consumed by the people, the need for more laboratories cannot be overemphasised.
“The laboratories take care of the chemical side of testing for water, the micro-biological side where the pathogens that cause diseases are discovered.
“When the physical aspects of water have been sorted out, the chemical aspect of it has to be taken care of by the laboratories.”
The deputy director said that when potable water is made available, most water-borne diseases would be eliminated, adding that bad sources of water accounted for majority of tropical diseases in the country.
He said the ministry was collaborating with the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) to enforce the National Standard for Drinking Water Quality, and urged borehole drillers to abide by the National Drilling Code of Practice.
“The ministry is calling on all Nigerians drinking water from borehole and other sources to regularly test their water in laboratories across the country to reduce consuming unwholesome water.’’
The Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) said that 90 per cent of households in Nigeria consume contaminated water and other impure substances.
According to the report, overwhelming majority representing 90 per cent of households in Nigeria, drink water contaminated by faeces and other impure substances like Escherichia coli (E.coli.)
E.coli are bacteria found in the environment, foods and intestines of people and animals.