The LifeStraw Product Launch in Abuja took place March 27, 2018 at the Sheraton Abuja Hotel: Ladi Kwali Conference center in Abuja, Nigeria. The Launch theme was “Availing Clean and Safe Drinking Water for All”. The objective of the Launch was to provide a forum where stakeholders can come together to discuss the need for a concerted effort to meet Nigeria’s Water, Sanitation and Hygiene need and the required associatedactions. WASH Stakeholders included Government, States, NGOs/ PVOs, Community groups and Local Corporates (B2B). This Launch was hosted by EnvironFocus Ltd and Vestergaard. A pre-launch was held on March 26th 2017 with UNICEF Nigeria. For information on the First LifeStraw Product Launch in Nigeria which took place in Lagos, November 14, 2017, click here
The Federal Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Folorunso Adewole was theChief Guest and Key Note Speaker. He was well represented by Dr. Obiageli Nebe, Deputy Director, Department of Public Health, Federal Ministry of Health, Nigeria. The Key Note Address covered the WASH in Nigeria and the need for public private partnerships. Other Federal Ministry of Health key representatives in attendance included Directors and Assistant Directors from the Departments of Food and Drug and Hospital Services. There were key representatives from the Federal Ministry of Water Resources
The Permanent Secretary was represented by Mrs. Bako,while the Permanent Secretary to the Federal Ministryof Education was represented by Mrs. Florence Ofaru. We also had members from the Yaba House of Assembly and other non-governmental organizations in the Nigerian WASH sector such as Water Aid, USAID, UNOCHA, Partner for Development, JICA, NESREA and Health Aid for All Initiative. There was also representation from other non-WASH NGOs and businesses such as the National Malaria Elimination Programme, West African Golf Tour Foundation, ECO Project Services, Federal Capital Territory Abuja and REDIN. The Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) covered the event. There were other cable television network, newspaper and radio media outlets present at the event.
The Launch took place during the period when the World Health Organization (WHO) had just announced as reported in the Guardian UK that a review into the potential risks of plastics in drinking water after a new analysis of some of the world’s most popular bottled brands found that more than 90% contained tiny pieces of plastics. In line with this announcement, the launch was done without bottled water and we were able to showcase the versatility of one of the LifeStraw products as an efficient water purifier and cold-water dispenser at the event. In doing this, we accomplished the following:
- Our attendees did not ingest more plastics which maybe cancerous to their health
- We prevented further environmental degradation by ensuring over 100 bottled water containers did not go into drainage systems, water bodies or dumpsites due to improper waste management.
- We ensured that we made available clean and safe drinking water for all our guests free of microorganisms that cause waterborne diseases.
- We successfully implemented and concluded a mini Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) project.
With the prevalence of waterborne diseases and the recent outbreak of cholera in various parts of the country especially in the IDP camps, LifeStraw product in Nigeria is timely. According to UNICEF, every year, an estimated 124,000 children under the age of 5 die because of diarrhea, mainly due to unsafe water, sanitation and hygiene. International and Local NGOs, Governments, Private Sector, Community groups etc. are encouraged to work together to assist in providing clean and safe drinking water for the most vulnerable in our society. Field staff are encouraged to get the LifeStraw Go to protect themselves while serving others in their course of duty. For more information on LifeStraw in Nigeria go to here. To order any of the LifeStraw products click here. See pictures from the Launch below.