Via allAfrica.com, an editorial in This Day: Nigeria: Cholera and the Systemic Collapse. Excerpt:
For more than four decades, cholera has been a recurring incident in Nigeria. In most instances, the disease has led to the death of thousands of our people, especially children.
The disease which is caused by Vibrio cholerae and can lead to the infection of the small intestine, is mostly contracted through drinking of contaminated water and eating of waste products. The obvious symptoms with cholera are dehydration and vomiting. It can last in the body between two to five days before full manifestation.
Given its root causes, one would have thought that government across all levels would have worked to stem the tide of the disease, but unfortunately that is not the case. While there have been tremendous efforts to prevent cholera by the federal government, we have not seen a corresponding commitment from the state governments. And that is where cholera appears to be ravaging citizens the most.
In states like Lagos, Ebonyi in the South-east and Kano, Nasarawa and Bauchi in the North, cholera seems to have defied all preventive measures. Yet the first crisis concerning the spread of the disease begins with failure by most state governments to provide potable water for their teeming population.
But in addressing the issue, state governments must be held accountable first for such failure. In fact, chances are that the annual security votes for governors in most of the states astronomically surpass budgetary allocations to the provision of clean water for the people. With that sort of systemic collapse in the states, it is therefore little surprise that the country is made to spend more on the treatment of cholera rather than on its prevention.
In most of these cases, many states have abdicated their responsibilities while huge resources that should be deployed for the welfare of the people are now used to service former governors in the name of a corruption-ridden pension and gratuities package.
Yet the spread of cholera becomes worse when the environment is not clean; when water system is not treated. The sad part of it is when villagers and rural dwellers are left to rely on streams as the only source of drinking water. Sometimes, they even have to rely on stagnant water for washing of their clothes and other items. It is more acute in rural areas. It becomes more complicated when and where there are no modern medical facilities to assist in the treatment of cholera.
Thus, the outbreak of cholera is purely a complete failure by state governments.