Alex Luther, the Quality Assurance Manager of Plateau State Water Board, says open defecation and dumping of refuse on water ways are the major causes of water pollution and outbreak of diseases in Jos North Local Government Area and its environs.
Luther made the disclosure on Thursday in Jos during a sensitisation programme organised by the National Orientation Agency on preventing health risks and environmental hazards caused by torrential rainfall.
He said human activities, especially poor sanitation and other anti-hygiene practices, exposed the residents of Jos North local government to the risk of diarrhoea, cholera epidemic and other outbreaks.
He said: “Pipe lines are damaged through refuse dumps and open defecation. Some houses do not have toilets and so they adopt open defecation to ease themselves, this is further spread especially during rainy season along water ways.
“This defecation and refuse pollute the water through the damaged pipelines; we advise residents as preventive measures, to always boil water before use and use disinfectants and filters.’’
Luther said that polluted water contains micro-organisms which are harmful to health and cause cholera, diarrhoea, typhoid fever and other diseases.
He said that water is very important for the human body, saying 20 to 50 litres of water are required for it to function effectively.
Earlier in his remarks, Bulus Dabit, the State Director of NOA in Plateau, said the programme was organised to enlighten residents on public policies on health and environment.
Dabit urged residents to participate and apply what they learnt for the success of the exercise.
He recalled that the area was affected by cholera outbreak in 2018 and so, similar outbreak could be averted through the enlightenment programme and interface between residents and government officials on preventive measures.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the programme was part of activities of the NOA to communicate government policies to avert socio economic risks.