A senior lecturer of Pharmaceutical Chemistry from the University of Lagos, Dr. Chimezie Anyakora, who has conducted extensive research on water contamination across Nigeria, broke down the result of the water analysis, explaining that the lead detected in the water level should be of great concern to the people directly using the water and Lagosians in general.
He said, “Obviously, the bacterial count (2.40 X 103 colony-forming unit per millimetre) which is at least 20 times more than the WHO limits (1.0 x 102) poses the danger of short-term diseases like typhoid, dysentery and diarrhoea. But my major concern is the lead level. There should not be any lead at all in the water.
“As you know, lead is a very carcinogenic element. If one ingests bacteria in water, they reproduce and attack the body when their number is large enough. The typhoid, dysentery, diarrhoea or other diseases that it will give you in the short-term can be treated if detected in time. But the problem are those who are not feeling sick at the moment and develop long term illnesses in the long run because of the heavy metal, lead.
“Lead, like other heavy metals, accumulates in the body over time. Someone who drinks water contaminated with it like this may live a normal life without feeling sick for years. When one is supposed to be living a good life, that is when it causes kidney failure, cancer and many other ailments problems that may be too expensive to manage.
“Looking at the result of the analysis on this water sample, it is a signal of grave danger. One who drinks this kind of water continuously for two years is in grave danger.”
Anyakora said unfortunately, the epidemiology of many illnesses which plague Nigerians is not done unlike in developed countries where illnesses are traced to their roots.