Published April 30, 2020 | Version v2
Journal article Open

Leaving no One Behind? Drinking Water Challenge on the Rise in Niger Delta Region of Nigeria: A Review

  • 1. Department of Community Medicine, Environmental Health Unit, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island, Bayelsa State, Nigeria.
  • 2. Department of Geography and Environmental Management, Faculty of Environmental and Technology, University of the West of England, United Kingdom.
  • 3. Department of Community Medicine, Edo University, Iyamho, Edo State, Nigeria.
  • 4. Department of Environmental Health Science, Kwara State University, Malete, Kwara State, Nigeria.
  • 5. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, United Kingdom.
  • 6. Action Against Hunger, Yobe State, Nigeria
  • 7. Department of HIV Medicine, Lead ART Clinician (DREAM Clinic) Daughters of Charity Health Care Services of Saint Vincent de Paul Hospital Kubwa, F.C.T Abuja, Nigeria


Despite having come of age only recently, it would be a truism, but also accurate, to state that only  ten (10) years left to accomplish the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), 2020 marks a decade to show action. The decade of action require rapid accelerating sustainable solutions for all the global biggest challenges which is fully embraced in the twenty-first century, as issues of water are gaining new prominence in the Niger Delta as local communities respond to growing public concerns about drinking water pollution, failing infrastructure, and the perceived inability of local, state, MNOCs and federal governments to fix the problems. While contaminated water is becoming a worsening problem of global concern that disproportionately affects many Indigenous communities in the Niger Delta and the access of almost all 210 million Nigerians residents to reliable, safe drinking water distinguishes Nigeria in the twentieth century from that of the nineteenth century; nonetheless, current trends seem to strain water resources over time, especially on a regional basis. Semantically, water being a finite resource having to serve exponentially more people and usages, and so ensuring everyone has access to a reliable supply is crucial to human survival and sustainable progress. However, chemical pollutants in drinking water have been linked to water poverty and to many different adverse health outcomes, including leukaemia, lymphoma, bladder cancer, breast cancer, and reproductive problems. Chemical pollutants remain a problem in countries like Nigeria as each community in the Niger Delta faces threats to their water quality from different sources of pollution, and may benefit from a community-based water-quality monitoring program to better inform them of their water quality. Remarkably, the adoption of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015 marked a new level of political recognition of the importance of water to development. For the first time, this included a target to ensure access to affordable, reliable and sustainable water for all – collectively known as Sustainable Development Goal 6. Therefore, thinking about water should take the concept of multiplicity as an analytic starting point rather than as a revelation.


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