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Open Access Commentary

Packaged water: optimizing local processes for sustainable water delivery in developing nations

Ayokunle C Dada

Author Affiliations

Institute of Ecology and Environmental Studies, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria

Globalization and Health 2011, 7:24  doi:10.1186/1744-8603-7-24

Published: 29 July 2011

Abstract

With so much global attention and commitment towards making the Water and Sanitation targets of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) a reality, available figures seem to speak on the contrary as they reveal a large disparity between the expected and what currently obtains especially in developing countries. As studies have shown that the standard industrialized world model for delivery of safe drinking water technology may not be affordable in much of the developing world, packaged water is suggested as a low cost, readily available alternative water provision that could help bridge the gap. Despite the established roles that this drinking water source plays in developing nations, its importance is however significantly underestimated, and the source considered unimproved going by 'international standards'. Rather than simply disqualifying water from this source, focus should be on identifying means of improvement. The need for intervening global communities and developmental organizations to learn from and build on the local processes that already operate in the developing world is also emphasized. Identifying packaged water case studies of some developing nations, the implication of a tenacious focus on imported policies, standards and regulatory approaches on drinking water access for residents of the developing world is also discussed.