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Cholera outbreak exposes access issues, poor integrity of water delivery systems – RDI

The Executive Director, RDI, Mr. Philip Jakpor | File Image

‘In Lagos with more deaths we are worried about the integrity of pipelines that convey water to localities’

By Valentine Amanze

The Renevlyn Development Initiative (RDI) has condemned the current cholera outbreak that has claimed no fewer that 40 people in Nigeria.

 RDI said that the outbreak exposed the challenges that force Nigerians  to patronise unwholesome sources and the parlous management of water delivery systems.

RDI position is coming on the heels of the alert by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) that the country does not have enough vaccines to address the growing cases of cholera across the country.

Deaths attributable to the current outbreak in Lagos were 24 as at Wednesday June 19, 2024, representing the highest among the 10  states of the federation that contributed 90 per cent to the burden of cholera.

Others are Bayelsa, Zamfara, Abia, Cross River, Bauchi, Delta, Katsina, Imo and Nasarawa states.

The cholera deaths are blamed largely on delayed presentation of cases.

Also read: Cholera outbreak claims seven lives in Ebonyi

On the genesis of the current outbreak, RDI Project Officer, Ifeoluwa Adediran, attributed it to government’s low investment in the water sector at both state and federal levels.

Adediran said: “The periodic cholera outbreaks are very disturbing and reinforced our arguments that the abysmally low investment in the water sector at both state and federal levels are further complicated by poor maintenance of the facilities that house and frieght water from the waterworks to the different localities they service.

“In some communities the residents resort to unwholesome sources to get water. These are the issues that fuel the cholera outbreaks.

“In Lagos with more deaths, we are worried about the integrity of pipelines that convey water to localities. In many communities the pipelines right of way include gutters where breakages and other breaches ususlly occur and are not addressed for months and years in some cases.”

While commending the federal and particularly the Lagos State government for sensitization efforts to address the current crisis, the RDI project officer insisted that it was time that government at all levels took the issue of provision of water to remote communities and.ensuring pipeline integirty as priority.

“Our recommendation is that increasing investments in the water sector must be complemented and go pari pasu with ensuring the water delivery systems are regularly maintained.

“Water must also be available and affordable so that citizens are not forced to patronise other sources that lead to cholera and other illnesses,” Adediran said.

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