" The basic needs approach is one of the major approaches to the measure of absolute measurement of absolute poverty in developing countries.... A traditional list of immediate basic needs" is food (including water), shelter and clothing."
That goes to explain the importance and value of water in the life of mankind. If you look at it carefully, you will agree that water is the most essential of every need, because, it is the all purpose need of life.
Water is used for bathing, for cooking, for drinking, for washing clothes etc; especially potable water or clean water, which gives good health and prolongs life.
Talking about the dangers of absence or lack of potable water in any society :
"The World Health Organization says that every year more than 3.4 million people die as a result of water related diseases, making it the leading cause of disease and death around the world ..."
African Journal of Environmental Science and Technology also wrote a report also on the consequences of water borne diseases, quote:
"Water borne diseases are the most prevalent infectious diseases in the developing countries especially in new settlements....information obtained from the study revealed rather a grave scenario, showing that most common illness was diarrhoea and vomiting having a prevalence rate of 62.67% followed by skin problems (21%) preverlence rate..."
These are some indisputable facts about the dangers associated to unclean or dirty water. It is a common knowledge in African societies that most communities in especially the rural areas, depended on water that were found not fit for drinking, which gave birth to epidemics that kill thousands or millions of people in our societies.And this was the very scenario that faced the people of Bayelsa State, at the bifurcation following her creation out of Rivers State, Ist October 1996.
It was indeed a great challenge to have potable water in the state capital. Yenagoa, even with the efforts of successive governments that committed funds anually to increase the sector.
But with a touch of compassion to find a solution to the alarming situation of " water water everywhere but none to drink" and to stop the rampant cases of diseases and untimely deaths caused by polluted water, a Son of the soil, an Engineer took a bold initiative, went ahead with his vision to provide potable water, which resulted in the Foundation of a water producing company, called Prextam.
Seeing this water in circulation at occasions and in stores, in bottles and in sachets in the Bayelsa State Capital, Yenagoa, our medium, Golden Pen Newspaper visited the Company for an interview with the CEO, excerpts:'
GP Well, my name is Evans Tubonah from Golden Pen Newspaper, am in your office to interact with you on the Foundation of this important water company in the state, how did it come about?
Ans:- Well, my name is Tena Gede, the CEO Prextam Water. We are a water company, a bottle and sachet water company based in the state capital , Yenagoa.
We work with locally sourced materials, locally employed staff.
"Cut in: What brought about the foundation of the company?
Ans: Oh! water had always been a passion to my father who founded the company. He used to run NGOs to provide clean drinking water for communities. It is something he is good at or passionate about.
My father said, why not we put our resources together to create a company, something we can produce in Bayelsa, that is surplus, that is water. We can refine it, treat it and produce it. A company that could fund itself, to create jobs and to produce water for the masses. That was how Spottena Integrated Services Limited was founded to produce Prextam water being produced here in Bayelsa, having the quality to rival any water produced anywhere in the world.
It passed through NAFDAC screenings, NAFDAC testing, went through rigorous treatment and testing procedures, and it has good quality as could be found anywhere in the world, with the added advantage of being local.
Ques:- That is quite interesting, can you tell us about the scope of your operations?
Ans:- So far, our operations are restricted to the state, Bayelsa State and eventually with time it can be extended beyond, but now our products are made in Bayelsa for Bayelsans.
We have several departments - production, Production, Marketing/Commercial, Administration/Logistics Finance/ Accounts etc.
We produce sachets water, bottle (50cl, 75cl & 150cl) w also produce 19 litres dispenser bottle. It will interest you to know that we have the nylon department which produces all the nylon we use for the sachets water production.
Ques:- But with all these, have you been receiving feedback from the public?
Ans:- We had very good report about us. Considering the fact that our company is new, we have started and spreading, though based in Yenagoa, our aim is to spread across the eight Local Government Areas of Bayelsa, because we are not restricted to certain areas alone.
We find it necessary to appoint distributors at appropriate time to take our products to different locations and we are working at hearts to liaise with some distributors to make it work. We also have customized water freelance and these events can be in different locations as well, that also help to publicize the products in such areas, Tena Gede continued.
Ques:- You talked about employment creation for Bayelsans how many are your staff?
Ans:- Our capacity for now is an average of 64 staff, during peak periods of sales we use to have more, because at peak periods we have increase in the need of staff during the dry season and at festival periods.
On the expansion that is taking place, we have the department of raw materials, the production of the nylon and sachets takes quite a number of staff there, while the new site at Gbaraun Toru will give us more staff, so our staff strength is increasing, she he concluded.
Prextam water had caught the attention of many in Bayelsa State, especially those who deal with bottle and sachet water.
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