Nigerian state takes more than 1,000 water companies to court

Concerned about the indiscriminate sale of suspected unwholesome drinking water and the impact of its consumption on people’s health, the Nigerian state of Anambra’s Ministry of Health has taken 1,124 water producers to court.

Romanus Oriagu, state director of primary health care and disease control in the state’s Ministry of Health, told the News Agency of Nigeria that many of the manufacturers of “pure water” had been served notices to determine the purity of their products.

He said the ministry was currently concentrating in regions where the business thrived most, stressing that the task force would soon move to other areas.

State health officers have been in the field since November and they will continue until all the water producers have been tested and analysed, officials said. Those declared fit will be allowed to remain trading, and those not will be shown the way out of the state, said Oriagu.

Oriagu said 24 doctors and 123 nurses were trained last year to enhance the monitoring effort. He said the government’s goal is to reduce maternal and infant mortality by 50% in the year 2005 and that testing product from water companies should help do that.

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