Know What’s Killing More People in Nigeria Than Boko Haram? Lack of Drinking Water
Monday, January 26, 2015
The lack of running water killed more people in Nigeria last year than Boko Haram.
While the terror campaign claimed more than 4,000 lives, the shortage of potable water and poor sanitation led to about 73,000 deaths, according to WaterAid, a London-based nonprofit.
The water deficit isn’t limited to isolated areas in the country’s vast north. In Lagos, about 15 million of the coastal metropolis’ 21 million have limited access to piped water.
Africa’s accelerating urbanization is colliding with governments’ failure to provide the most basic services. Next year alone, Lagos will add more than the population of Boston, worsening its infrastructure shortfall.
“Water is strained, transportation is strained, housing is strained,”Toyin Ayinde, the state commissioner for planning and urban development, said in an interview.
Folks still need about 25 gallons a day, the state-run Lagos Water Corp. reckons.
That’s where Mohamed Adamu comes in. Starting at 5 a.m. every day, he fills 10 jerry cans and walks down rutted streets to deliver clean water to corrugated iron-roofed homes in the Otumara district about a half-hour walk away. Vendors like him are known as “mairuwa” — or “water owner” in the Hausa language.