Climate change poses a serious global challenge with its attendant negative impacts already being felt by different countries of the world, and Nigeria is not left out. While mostly the developing countries are already actively doing everything possible to curb the possible catastrophic effects of climate change such as protection and effective management of watersheds, ground and surface water resources, a lot remains to be seen in this regard in Nigeria.
This article seeks to examine the devastating impact that water shortage specifically can have on Nigeria – from our economic activities to human survival and sustainable living. More interesting will be a critical look at what one Nigerian company – Autosparkle is doing to help car owners save water through waterless car washing and detailing while encouraging Nigerians and Africans by extension to embrace a higher level of maintenance culture.
Globally and in Nigeria, an increasing temperature and decreasing rainfall amount over the years especially since the 1970s remains one of the many signals of climate change. Climate change, which is a long-term shift, alternation or change in the type of climate prevailing over a specific location, a region or the entire planet affects the global eco-system negatively, including freshwater resources, both in terms of quantity and quality. As temperatures increase, evaporation increases, sometimes resulting in drought. This observed changing climatic condition has started affecting the water resources in most parts of the world whereby 2.3, 3.2 and 3.7 billion people world-wide will likely experience increasing water stress by 2025, 2050 and 2085 respectively, according to experts’ prediction. Already, glaciers, one of the important sources of freshwater worldwide are currently melting at an unprecedented rate due to rising temperatures, and reports state that they are in danger of drying up within the 21st century. In Nigeria, while rainfall has decreased by 92 mm, temperature increased by 0.8OC since 1960. This has led to increasing evapotranspiration and water stress resulting in the drying up of rivers and lakes. For example, Lake Chad has reduced in size from 22,902 km2 in 1963 to 16,884 km2 in 1972 and 304 km2 in 2000.
The changing climatic condition and dwindling water resources which are present effects of climate change, are pointers to looming water danger and its catastrophic consequences on other sectors like Agriculture, Industry and Tourism. While climate change will make some countries to experience increase in water resources, majority like Nigeria, according to findings, will face serious water stress.
Given the trends in climate change, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in fact predicts that by 2025, water withdrawals will increase to 18 percent in developed countries, and 50 percent withdrawals in developing countries. While increasing effects of climate change intensifies water scarcity, report asserts that the economic impact of this would fall on agriculture. Nigeria currently suffers from “economic water scarcity” – the inability to properly manage, use and protect water resources for socioeconomic development and environmental sustainability.
With the lack of sufficient, accessible water resources to meet water needs of the increasing population, the issue of water scarcity becomes one of the leading challenges of the twenty-first century.
Hence this issue calls for action to harvest and recycle freshwater resources, and employ more efficient ways to use water to provide food for an ever-increasing global population.
It is hereby strongly advised that countries currently stressed or that will experience water stress in the future like Nigeria, should start developing coping strategies, which will take care of the water scarcity accompanying climate change.
One of such coping mechanisms will be to make judicious use of currently available water resources by putting such to strictly valuable use.
And that’s where Autosparkle – a Lagos-based innovative autocare services company has already swung into action and is taking the lead in Africa. Autosparkle which was co-founded by two young Nigerian brothers (Genesis and Jesse Onomiwo) started operations in the Victoria Island part of Lagos in 2010 as a strictly-mobile waterless car wash company with an eco-conscious drive and determination to help Africans save water for better uses by starting with Nigeria.
The fact remains that if we will survive the harsh reality of climate change, we must reduce water wastage at all cost. Car washing consumes a lot of water. In fact, numbers indicate that washing a car at home typically uses between 80 and 140 gallons of water (more than 450 litres), while a commercial car wash averages around 45 gallons per car. Instead of contributing to these numbers, Autosparkle is cutting them down drastically by influencing people’s car washing habit with the Autosparkle mobile waterless approach to cleaning cars, which does not use even a single drop of water.
Autosparkle’s solution addresses water wastage from activities like car washing. Access to clean water is an issue around the world and this is due to depleting sources. Sadly, the little that is left is not being used judiciously.
Autosparkle’s approach to car washing is based on nanotechnology covering everything from stain removal, vacuuming, leather and upholstery treatment, dashboard conditioning, roof cleaning, plastic/rubber/chrome trim polishing, to deodorization, and more. With the use of eco-friendly products, the environment is saved from pollution which is characteristic of normal road side car washes. So with Autosparkle, there’s no soapy run-offs that sip right into gutters—and eventually into rivers, streams, creeks and wetlands where it poisons aquatic life and wreaks other ecosystem havoc. Not forgetting that that water is loaded with a witch’s brew of gasoline, oil, and residues from exhaust fumes—as well as the harsh detergents being used for the washing itself.
After a few years of business breaks and reinvention, Autosparkle finally relaunched in 2018 as the only brand in the world that caters to only car interiors. Due to luxury car owners’ experiences of engine damage from regular water-based washing, the company has also added the safest option of cleaning engines without a drop of water.
The emphasis on detailing as against keeping focus on car washing, asides combating water wastage, was a deliberate move to draw the attention of Nigerians to the importance of cultivating a proper maintenance culture, especially when it comes to cars. Autosparkle gives personalized attention to car interiors and engine bays by thoroughly cleaning out all dirt using an average of 4 hours on a car.
This approach literally restores the car’s original interior shine and glory to look like when it was newly bought. At Autosparkle, as far as the interior of the car is concerned, water should be its enemy. For instance, most car washes just put together some detergent and water to wash delicate car interior parts like leather and the dashboard without understanding the pH level needed for solvents applied on such materials. Sadly, you cannot just use regular soap and water to clean leather car seats for instance, you need to use specialty products. Regular soap or detergent is too harsh and not designed for use on things like leather. Regular soap may clean the leather, but it will also damage it and dry it out. Auto experts warn that repeatedly using soap on your leather seats will lead to the leather starting to become stiff, and stiff leather will start to crack and tear.
This approach not only helps to raise the car’s resale value, it also serves to inculcate a sense of value in Nigerians for the need to always ensure their personal belongings are kept in the best possible condition. Clients and prospects are constantly educated on what they can do to keep their car in top shape on www.myautosparkle.com.
Having detailed cars more than a thousand times without a drop of water while saving hundreds of thousands of litres of water in the process, Autosparkle renders its service strictly by appointment and currently serves its clients in their homes and offices around the Lekki, Ikoyi, Victoria Island and Banana Island areas of Lagos with plans for other locations. However, due to the uniqueness of what they do, online visibility and the stunning results they produce, people from other parts of Lagos and outside Lagos still travel down to engage them on the Island to have the Autosparkle experience.
With the core focus on car interior and engine detailing services only, Genesis and Jesse have successfully created a new category in the autocare industry that never existed anywhere in the world before now, making Autosparkle a first mover and natural leader of the waterless car interior and engine detailing niche. In fact, Autosparkle is now a replacement for the word interior detailing. Ultimately, the company is building the largest chain of environmentally-friendly and convenient cleaning operations out of Africa. This covers waterless detailing (thorough washing) of luxury cars, aircrafts, boats, furnitures and fittings in homes and other types of spaces.
Genesis is a graduate of Architecture from the School of Environmental Technology, Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA); he has also gotten several certifications from the University of Virginia and Miami Ad School, London. Jesse is a graduate of Computer Sciences from the University of Lagos who’s also a Certified e-Business Professional in Customer Relationship Management from EC-Council University, Massachusetts, USA.