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All about challenges of Eruwa water
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  1 CHAPTER ONE 1.1 INTRODUCTION Water is a precious natural resource, vital for life, development and the environment. It can be a matter of life and death, depending on how it occurs and how it is managed. When it is too much or too little, it can bring destruction, misery or death. Irrespective of how it occurs, if  properly managed, it can be an instrument for economic survival and growth. It can be an instrument for poverty alleviation lifting people out of the degradation of having to live without access to safe water and sanitation, while at the same time bringing prosperity to all (UN-WATER/AFRICA, 2004). However, when it is inadequate in either quantity or quality, it can be a limiting factor in poverty alleviation and economic recovery, resulting in poor health and low  productivity, food insecurity and constrained economic development. The interdependence between water availability and development is exemplified by the link between water and poverty. Due to poverty, access to adequate water and sanitation is low in Africa. As a result of inadequate access to safe water and sanitation, there is a high incidence of communicable diseases that reduce vitality and economic productivity on the continent. Inadequate access to water and sanitation is thus both a cause and a consequence of poverty. Similarly, inadequate water resources can become a constraint to improved agricultural development and food security. Systematic development of water supply and management in  Nigeria dates back to the colonial times. The colonial administration developed domestic water supply as part of overall programme to improve the level of personal hygiene and environmental sanitation throughout the country, and thereby the health of the people. Unfortunately, as noted  by Oyebande (1977), the priority accorded domestic water supply by the colonial administration had not been sustained by post-independence governments of the country. For example, between 1946 and 1960 the average percentage of the total government expenditure on water was 11.4%, whereas between 1962 and 1975, it decreased to 4.5%. Although there was a steady increase in the percentage of the total government expenditure spent on water between 1975 and 1992,  between 1992 and 1996, there was a 50% decrease in the total budgetary allocation for water supply (Areola and Akintola, 1997; Falusi and Gbadegesin, 1998).  2 The implication of this is that between 1992 and 1996, the total water supply for industrial, agricultural and domestic use increased at a rate of about 1.0% whereas population growth rate was 2.84% (NPC, 1991). Apart from the relatively low level of financial commitment to water supply development in general, successive governments in the country also laid emphasis on urban water supply while rural areas are almost completely neglected. The federal government, through the River Basin Development Authorities (RBDAs) the first of which was established in 1976 and the Directorate of Food, Roads and Rural Infrastructure (DFRRI) which was put in place in 1986 attempted to address the problem of rural water supply in the country. Through the two strategies, a large number of boreholes with manual and powered  pumps were sunk in various parts of the country. Pipe borne water was also extended to some rural areas, through the state water corporations, but this option was hardly used because of the high cost of laying pipes to rural communities which are generally separated by large distances (NEST, 1991; Akintola, et. al., 1980). Regrettably, these efforts did not last up to a decade. Many of the rural communities that were served with boreholes were unable to derive maximum benefits from them. Some of the problems identified include lack of public  participation in the management of the boreholes, technological problems, ignorance of the  people, and corruption (NEST, 1991). This has led to the cancellation of the DFRRI while the focus of the RBDAs has now been limited to the provision of water for agricultural purposes (Falusi and Gbadegesin, 1998). After almost sixty years of water supply development in Nigeria, it is regrettable that only 60% of the population has access to safe drinking water, and in rural areas less than 50% of the households have access to good portable water (National Millennium Development Goals Report, 2005). Rural people in the country still depend very much on rivers, streams, ponds, and shallow wells for their water needs. During the dry season, some of these sources dry up and households have to invest a substantial amount of their resources to get water of doubtful quality. This has very serious implications for the economic development and social welfare of the people specifically and the country as a whole. First, there is the tremendous economic waste involved in people spending so much time and effort in search of water. Secondly, lack of water often means relatively low levels of personal hygiene and environmental sanitation. Thirdly, because water is needed for most productive activities, inadequate access to water limits the livelihood options of the people, particularly in rural areas (IDRC, 2002).  3 In recognition of the poor state of water management in the country and its implication for socioeconomic development and environmental sustainability, the new democratically elected government prepared the first national policy on water resources development in year 2000. One of the objectives of the policy is to provide good portable water for the rural population at an affordable price. However, to achieve this objective, there is need to better understand the constraints and challenges of rural water supply. Apart from addressing the issues of  participatory governance, cost recovery and appropriate technology, there is also a need to take into consideration the values, attitude, preferences and capacities of the different stakeholders in the supply and management of water in rural areas. Generally, human-water relations date back many generations, hence in many traditional societies, people have developed cultural values, attitudes and norms of behaviour in relation to water use. 1.2 STATEMENT OF THE RESEARCH PROBLEM Human welfare and economic development generally depend on the use of water. In  Nigeria, water resources management and utilization is crucial to the country’s efforts to redu ce  poverty, grow the economy, ensure food security and maintain the ecological systems.  Nevertheless, the issue of water resources management in the country focuses mainly on water supply and it receives only minimal attention by government. This approach may be attributed  partly to the disjointed sectoral approach to development planning in the country and the idea that water is a public good. It may also be partly attributed to the fact that the international development community have not given due attention to water resources until very recently. Falkenmark (1988) for example, criticized the highly acclaimed Brundtland report (WCED, 1987) for its failure to adequately address the issue of the role of water in sustainable development. Similarly, Toth (1996) noted that water has received relatively modest attention in debates about global environmental change and sustainable development as at the mid-1990s. Bamidele,( 2002) observed that this problem arises as a result of urbanization and negligence on the part of the the government to provide potable water supply to the rapidly growing population. In spite of the continuous global campaign by the world health organization (WHO) on the importance on provision of water in adequate quality and quantity to all nations, the problems of water continue to be persistent. ERUWA town in Oyo State is not an exception from the above situation, majority of the people in the area fetch water from unhygienic sources which are dangerous to human health. Some of the sources of water provided by the authority of  4 the local government are grossly inadequate and are not well maintained. Thus only small  percentage of the whole population that has access to bore-hole and pipe borne water supply. The new emphasis on water resources management in Africa is coming with a shift in the  principle and approach to the management of water resources. It is now recognized that water is a commodity of strategic importance because of increasing demands and rising costs, coupled with diminishing supplies (Sharma et. al., 1996). Furthermore, it is recognized that it is no longer feasible in a long-term, cost-effective and environment friendly manner, to increase water supply  by building additional dams and conveyance systems, sinking new wells, constructing desalinization plants, etc. In addition, it is now recognized that solutions must be found at the user-end of the pipe, that is, improving water use productivity, reducing conveyance losses, reusing water and optimizing allocation (Sanstrom,1997). The underlying principle is that water is a scarce good with dimensions of economic efficiency, social equity and environmental sustainability. Therefore, it has both public and private characteristics, and hence there is an important role for public and private participation in efficient management and development of water, particularly communities that use water (Sharma et al., 1996; Karikari, 1996). The new principle and approach to water resource management has many far reaching implications for policy design and institutional building as well as policy implementation. For example, the change in principle may be regarded as a basic ideological shift. Generally, such ideological shift cannot be imposed on people since it depends on cultural belief and world view of the people (Wildavsky et al.,1994). Consequently, there is need to have a better understanding of the values and ideological preferences of policy makers, bureaucrats and the general public. Secondly, a change from supply management approach to demand management approach requires a change in the manpower and institutional requirements for water resources management. While supply management approach with emphasis on building and construction of dams, boreholes, conveyance systems, etc, require predominantly engineering skills, the new emphasis on demand management with public and private sector participation will require expertise in social systems in addition to engineering skills. Lastly, the new integrated approach requires greater knowledge and understanding of the technological, social, economic and ecological dimensions of water resource management and how they are inter-related. Developing the capacity to engage in integrated sustainable development planning from the community level to the highest national decision-making level, remains a major challenge in  Nigeria and many other African countries. Sharma et al (1996) for example noted that in sub-  5 Sahara Africa as a whole, the following institutional capacity problems are rampant: (i) people are unaware that water is a finite resource with supply constraints, that it has a scarcity value, and that there is a cost to using it; (ii) lack of understanding of the consequences of deforestation and land degradation on the quantity and quality of water; (iii) inadequate capacity building and neglect of traditional knowledge bases as well as gender issues; (iv) management of water resources is highly fragmented among sectors and institutions and there is excessive reliance on  public sector services; and (v) weak institutional and implementation capacities. The implication of the foregoing is that if the new emphasis on water resources management in Africa and Nigeria in particular is to achieve meaningful results, there is the need to have a better understanding of the institutional capacity both in terms of skilled personnel and the available knowledge and understanding of the socio-economic, technological and ecological issues and problems that are involved ( NiyiGbadegesin 2007). 1.3 AIM AND OBJECTIVES 1.3.1 AIM The aim of this project is to analyze the various ways at which water is supplied. Its problem &  prospect with view to suggesting measures to the problem in the study area.. 1.3.2OBJECTIVES The aim above will be pursued through the following objectives.    Examine the socio-economic characteristic of respondents in the study area.    Investigate the sources of water available to the residents.    Examine the problem associated with the supply of water in the study area.    Make relevant suggestions towards solving the problems of water supply encountered by the inhabitants in the study area with emphasis on the ward chosen. 1.4 HYPOTHESIS Ho- there is no variation in the water supply among the wards in the study area.
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