Nearly 3,600 Nigerians died of cholera last year

Photo by alliance via Getty Images)
A flooded cattle market in Kara-Isheri, in the Ogun State in southwest Nigeria. Cholera, caused by dirty water, is more frequent in the rainy season. (AFP)

Cholera, a disease caused by drinking contaminated water, sickened more than 100,000 Nigerians last year, killing 3,598. Officials from the country’s Federal Ministry of Water Resources released the figures on Thursday.

Cases of the often deadly disease were reported in 32 out of Nigeria’s 36 states as well as in the federal capital Abuja.

“Waterborne diseases are actually preventable, and all we have to do is to ensure that our people always have access to clean and safe drinking water,” ministry officials said, attributing last years outbreaks to inadequate sanitation and a lack of clean water access.

Worldwide, the life-threatening illness infects roughly 2.8 million people each year, with 91,000 dying from the disease annually.

Developing countries with poor sanitation infrastructure and inadequate anti-flooding measures are particularly at risk.