Boy prostrates to sip water from dirty gutter in Jos

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MKReporters, Jos, Nigeria: Africa has the world’s highest prevalence rate of diseases because facilities and knowledge for prevention are lacking.

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The boy in the picture fled before MK could get his name, when he noticed he was being photographed. However, that he was drinking from a dirty water channel, less than 10ft to a sewage pit was curious.

Plateau’s Water Board Office is just some 100mtrs away from the spot, close to Angwan Rogo junction in Jos, the capital of Plateau State. There is fair water supply in the area, but many pipes, rusty and broken pass through dirty drainages.

Plateau State Water Board Office, Bauchi Road Jos

Water passing through the pipes either spills on the way without getting to user taps or transports dirt picked through cracked pipes.

The photographed boy drinking from a crater within which spilled water from cracked pipes settles before flowing to larger drainages was possibly making use of a bad situation.

Water pipes pass through dirty gutters in Bauchi road community in Jos

Water in the area is hawked in jerrycans. If you can’t get it at home, if you ever have water piped to your house, then you have to buy. Thisp is because most alternative water sources are located miles away from the residential area.

To get alternative drinking water in Bauchi road community, one must buy from mobile water vendors

With Coronavirus causing widespread economic stress, the boy, poor as he looked, probably had no means to get drinking water. But how does he escape waterborne diseases if he continues this way? Records from the Nigerian Red Cross Society show that the area has high cases of waterborne diseases, clearly due to poor drinking water.

Presently, more than 1,300 children under the age of five die every day, based on UNICEF statistics, because of diseases caused by unsafe drinking water, poor sanitation and hygiene.
Generally, waterborne diseases, according to WHO account for an estimated 3.6% of the total DALY (disability- adjusted life year) global burden of disease, and cause about 1.5 million human deaths annually.

Coronavirus, the world’s most dreaded disease killed about 345,000 people in five months, an estimated 65,000 every month. This figure is about 55.2% less than total number of deaths caused by waterborne diseases. By 1.5million deaths annually, waterborne diseases kill an estimated 125,000 people every month.

Should this boy and other kids like him continue drinking from such gutters and raising the figures for waterborne related deaths?

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