24 August 2009

The 7 Wonders of Nigeria - Pure Water

Nigerians have a way of adulterating anything. For example, ‘pure water’ which is the name given to water sold in plastic sachets is anything but pure. Practically anyone can start a ‘pure water’ business; all that is required is to dig a well in the backyard and buy a sealing machine. However, NAFDAC, the agency that oversees food and drugs administration has done some work in cleaning up the industry although this is scarcely an invitation to drink ‘pure water’.
‘Pure water’ is hawked everywhere by young and old people alike and its sachets have become a nuisance and a danger to the Nigerian environment. You will find them everywhere - drains, along the road, and even on the highways. Along with discarded plastic bottles, they are certainly a huge environmental time bomb.
In defence of ‘pure water’, I must say that it provides a service to the nation as the cheapest and most flexible way of quenching the thirst of the average Joe in the searing heat of a Nigerian afternoon.
As part of its metamorphosis, the name ‘pure water’ has evolved to derogatively refer to anything that is ‘common’. This includes certain telephone handsets such as Nokia 3310 - an accessory you should never be caught dead with. Even the rich are not spared; Mercedes Benz M Class is also referred to as pure water in some quarters as it is believed to be ‘common’. Can you believe this? This is Nigeria for you.
On its own, pure water would not have made it to our list, however, for its service to the Nigerian masses and for all the other things it stands for including all that is ‘common’, ‘pure water’ is a wonder of Nigeria.