Contamination of sachet water in Nigeria: assessment and health impact
Online Journal of Health and Allied Sciences
Department of Biological Sciences, Federal University Of Technology, Minna, Nigeria; Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Abuja, Nigeria
Adequate supply of fresh and clean drinking water is a basic need for all human beings. Water consumers are frequently unaware of the potential health risks associated with exposure to water borne contaminants which have often led to diseases like diarrhoea, cholera, dysentery, typhoid fever, legionnaire's disease and parasitic diseases. The inadequacy of pipe borne water-supply in Nigeria is a growing problem; as a result people resort to buying water from vendors, and sachet or bottled water became a major source of drinking water. Although, portable and affordable, the problems of its purity and other health concerns have begun to manifest. Sachet water have been reported to contain bacteria such as Bacillus sp., Pseudomonas sp., Klebsiella sp., Streptococcus sp., and oocysts of Cryptosporidia sp. Apart from environmental contaminants, improper storage and handling by vendors also poses a serious threat to the health of the ignorant consumers. This paper tends to review the quality of these 'pure water'; its physical examination, microbial assessments, its impacts on health, and the various strategies adopted by the concerned authorities to regulate this thriving industry.