My story investigates the hygiene status of the sachet water produced for consumption by sachet water factories operating in Lagos. The sachet water, popularly called ‘pure water’ is relied on as a source of safe drinkable water by over 70 percent of Lagosians.
With some of these factories situated in industrial areas where effluents are discharged into groundwater as well as contamination by human waste from latrines or septic tanks, resulting in increased levels of microorganism, there is no doubt that the sanitation and hygiene status of these sachet water is already compromised.
Lagos, Nigeria’s most populous city is characterized by low levels of access to improved water source and limited access to sanitation, leaving a large percentage of the population to depend on these industries most of whom operate without regards to sanitation regulations, thereby fuelling the spread of diseases such as typhoid and diarrhea.
The thrust of the story would demonstrate how lack of safe drinking water contributes to childhood mortality as well as the low life expectancy among adults. Also, a lab test would be conducted on 20 samples of sachet water randomly selected across the city. The two key diseases are diarrhea and typhoid fever, both common ailments in Nigeria caused by an unhygienic water source.
The story is important to tell in order to provide hard core evidence to the water challenge in the state and how it affects the health of Lagosians. This would motivate the state executive council to quickly implement the water supply and sanitation sector (WASH) policy which is said to be able to improve the lives of 21 million Lagosians.
The compelling evidence resulting from the story would also force government and other stakeholders concerned to enforce regulations on hygiene and sanitation with the sachet water factories which now pimple many part of the state.