Water: Residents Abhor Hygiene culture

Olufunmilayo Falobi  funmimm@yahoo.com

Most slums in Nigeria, the acclaimed giant of Africa do not have access to portable water. In most of these areas, residents rely on buying of water for survival while some even depend on stream or river as source of water and due to this hygiene culture is gradually being eroded in such localities. In a situation where people will have to get to the stream to get water, they tend to economise with water due to the long distance they would cover to get to the stream.

Also, in areas where residents buy water, the situation is even worse because people would store up used water to be used another time and some little hygiene culture like regular washing of hands is being despised. For instance in Lagos State, investigation revealed that in some parts of the state, when people get clean water for washing clothes, after the laundry, they store up the used water to be re-used for another purpose mostly flushing of the toilets.

Sometimes, if the water is not very dirty after it has been used for washing, they can use it again to wash cloths that are very dirty as well as rags. A resident, Mrs. Adesegun said, “We buy water and because of that, we have to be very prudent in using it.

After washing our cloths, we keep the water for two or three days and it can be used for flushing the toilets.” With this, the practice of washing of hands has been derided because people now have to economise with water they have. However experts explained that the practice of keeping dirty water to reuse is harmful to the body as such aids disease and the spread of epidemic in the society.

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