FILE PHOTO: Bottles of Table water.

African Water Association (AfWA) on Wednesday in Abuja stressed the need for safe drinking water in order to mitigate avoidable diseases.

AfWA focal person in Nigeria, Mr Francis Umemezia, stated this at a workshop on the development of laboratory water and quality assurance manuals.

He noted that the implications of drinking unsafe and contaminated water could be disastrous, adding that it could lead to diarrhea and cholera.

Umemezia said that access to safe drinking water was a major factor in preventing deaths and improving quality of life.

He said having access to safe drinking water was a necessity for every human being which is in line with the SDG 6.1 of having safe drinking water for all by 2030.

AFWA, in its efforts to improve water quality, is implementing through the funding of USAID, a capacity building programme (AfriCap) for laboratories of 10 West Africa countries.

Umemezia said that one of the components of the programme would be to promote partnership between laboratory operators for water quality management.

He said Ghana Water Company limited would serve as mentor for the Anglophone countries while the Federal Capital Territory Water Board and Ogun state water corporation are some of the beneficiaries.

He added that activities would be conducted in water quality audit, benchmark mission, implementation of Performance Improvement Plans (PIP) and capacity building in meteorology and laboratory technicians.

Participants for the programme were drawn from FCT water board, Ogun state water corporation, Taraba state water supply agency, Niger state water board and Imo state water corporation.

Others are Delta State Urban Water Board, Abia State Water Board, Sokoto State Water Board, and delegates from Guma Villages Water Company of Sierra Leone.