The most widely used type of water in Nigeria is sachet water, often known as “pure water.” It is affordable, incredibly practical, and widely accessible. Both in-store and street hawkers both sell sachet water. Because it’s quite simple to start a sachet water business, there are so many of them in the nation that two or more of them may supply a street’s worth of businesses. Additionally, many people in Nigeria depend on sachet water for drinking and even cooking because the public water supply is virtually nonexistent.
Sachet water is widely used for several reasons, including the widespread belief that it is beneficial, hence the term “pure water.” When compared to water from the well or other sources, the sachets’ constant transparency makes it very easy to look through and gives the impression that the water is clean. How clean is it, though?
Never assume that water is safe to drink just because it appears to be clean; there may be many germs and bacteria there that the naked eye cannot see. This is not to argue that sachet water is dangerous to consume, but it is not enough to rely on it since it appears to be clean. Sachet water may be dangerous for a variety of reasons, including:
- Operations of the Company: Although sachet water companies claim that their water goes through some sort of filtration and purification process, many of them lack the facilities or equipment for such processes and as a result, they end up doing little to nothing to ensure that their water is unsafe for drinking.
- Water source: You should constantly take water source into consideration. Some businesses obtain their water from wells, while others do so from boreholes, etc. Different water sources have varying degrees of purity.
- No stated expiration date: Most often after two months, yes. The majority of sachet water businesses in Nigeria do not, however, provide an expiration date. Consuming water from a sachet that has expired is bad. This is due to the possibility that plastic would eventually start to leach into the water, polluting it with compounds like antimony and bisphenol A. (BPA).
- Storage: The location of the water’s storage could have an impact on its quality. This could change the taste and odor, making it dangerous to drink.
Some people refrain from drinking sachet water because of certain health risks, and we’ll look at a few of those risks below.
As we mentioned earlier, not all water that appears to be clean is safe to drink. Drinking it could result in cholera, which is brought on by drinking contaminated water, as well as other health issues because there are still some germs present.
A substance known as bisphenol A, or BPA, is found in various types of plastic, including the kind used to create the sachet for sachet water. BPA does not constitute a concern at small doses, but when it is present in large amounts, it may have harmful effects on health. For instance, exposing the sachets to the light makes the BPA present in the water. The amount of BPA in the water increases with the length of exposure. Numerous health problems, including hypertension, heart attacks, coronary artery disease, angina, and even variations in blood pressure, have been associated with BPA.
Environmental issues that sachet water causes in Nigeria are another adverse influence on external health. One of the main environmental issues facing the nation is the improper dumping of sachet water bags by users after usage. According to a 2019 study, Nigeria’s major sources of river pollution and environmental trash were incorrect sachet water disposal. The study also included suggestions for enhancing Nigeria’s environmental health by eliminating improper sachet water dumping.