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Wednesday, September 27, 2023

How water can solve Nigeria’s indoor air pollution

As the government works on continuing abandoned water projects, another reason to complete them in the fastest possible time has come to the attention of many Nigerians and this involves water’s capability to get rid of air pollutants indoors.

wall indoor fountain
A wall indoor fountain: Wall fountain inside the home can keep indoor air clean. Photo credit: Homedit

Based on a study done by avian diseases experts Daniel J. King and Bailey W. Mitchell, water can purify the air by breaking down the components of airborne germs, bacteria, and viruses. With 94% of Nigerians exposed to air pollution that exceed guidelines set by the World Health Organisation (WHO), Mitchell’s and King’s findings is a welcome development.


A Serious Predicament

Indoor air pollution is often ignored but it is becoming a cause for concern as it is among the top environmental health risks around. Air pollution exposure in Nigeria is quite high as compared to other parts of the region, according to Little Green Data and it is disconcerting. Apart from causing death due to diseases linked to air pollution, it is also costing the country an estimated 1% of its Gross Domestic Income.

This problem puts the average Nigerian in a tight spot too because solvent-based home purifiers cost a whopping ₦150,000. However, there are a few ways to counter indoor air pollution, according to researchers from the Covenant University in Ota, Ogun State. These include cooking outside of the home, using light that does not produce fumes, and improving the home’s ventilation.


Purifying Air with Water

Placing a water fountain or a wall fountain inside the home can keep indoor air clean. The science behind this claim lies on the positive charge carried by most indoor air pollutants and water’s negative charge. When a collision happens, water breaks down the particles until they are no longer airborne. According to Mitchell and King’s article, the process can reduce airborne microorganisms that attach themselves to dust and dead skin cells since water can break them down until they fall to the ground.


Water Supply

While Nigeria gets 215 cubic kilometres of surface water annually, basic water supply is still a problem in the country. Pollution plays a major role in this predicament, according to the WHO, since many of Nigeria’s rivers and streams are used as dumping sites for toxic substances. However, the water scarcity in the country must be put in context. Nigeria’s water coverage is now over 67%, according to UNICEF, and the remainder will be covered by the government’s unfinished water projects. Despite the perceived water scarcity in Nigeria, there is enough water that can be used to purify indoor air.

This is good news for many because installing a water fountain inside the home can get rid of air pollutants naturally and it is more cost-effective than other types of air purifiers. Nigeria’s indoor air pollution problem can be solved, and households only need to take advantage of water’s negative charge to get this done.

By Cassandra Ally

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