Water Supply Planning
Water is one of the most important natural resources for all life on earth. The availability and quality of water always have played an important part in determining not only where people can live, but also their quality of life. Even though there always has been plenty of fresh water on earth, water has not always been available when and where it is needed, nor is it always of suitable quality for all uses. Water must be considered as a finite resource that has limits and boundaries to its availability and suitability for use.Inadequate water supply in Arawa area of Gombe has been associated with lack of accessibility and population increase.
As population of the area increases with time, competition for water demand also increases which outweighs the supply of water in the area thereby rendering water supply inadequate.Also reasons such as the inability to extract water from sources due to non-distribution of public water supply systems and lack of maintenance of water facilities in the study area have contributed to the insufficiency of water supply.
The survey was carried out as a result of the inadequacies in the provision of public water supply in Arawa community. So far, the research was able to dictate the nature and problems of water supply in the study area. The field survey and analysis shows that the problem of water supply in the area ranges from the absence of public pipe borne water which have been related to the neglect of the area by the state water corporation board, poor maintenance of facilities due to lack of funds as well as the rapid population growth of the area.
1.1 Background of the Study
Apart from air, water is the most important resource to man. He can survive longer without food than without water. Water is a unique liquid, without it life as we know it, is impossible. It is necessary for the life of most animals and plants. Every living cell has water as its primary composition. The human body is composed of about 75% of water, for this reason, it can be boldly said that man is literally walking bags of water (Ashley, 2007; freedrinkingwater.com). It is a foundation for human prosperity because adequate and high quality water supplies provide a basis for the growth and development of human, social, economic, cultural and political systems (Young, 2006).
Progress Update and Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Assessment Progress on Drinking Water, 1990–2015, revealed that sub-Saharan Africa fell short of the MDG target, as 663 million people still lacked improved drinking water sources in 2015. Similarly, the 2014 update to the Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) report Progress on Drinking Water and Sanitation, shows that meaningful progress was not attained as access of urban areas in Nigeria to adequate water sources barely changed from 78% in 1990 to 79% in 2012 (UNICEF/WHO, 2015). However, these figures do not suggest that all those with access are directly connected to a State Water Agency (SWA) network. According to the World Health Organization (WHO, 2004), the total domestic water demand by man for domestic activities is estimated at 250 litres per capita per day. Life, health and hygiene all depend on an access to a quantitative and qualitative supply of drinking water. For this reason, the possibility of life (or man’s) existing in any particular place depends on the presence or accessibility to water. The rapidly growing world population is contributing to the deterioration of the available fresh water quality and is creating significant challenges for water managers, industries and fishes and wild life agencies. The resulting polluted water contains protozoa, viruses, bacteria and intestinal parasites which cause water borne diseases (Thomas, 2005).
The quality of water people demand, of which they are willing to pay for at a particular level is determined by complex inter-relation of a number of factors such as the size and nature of the populations, level of education, social and religious philosophy, income, housing condition, water use habits, climate etc (Faechem et al. 1977).
In Nigeria, the state governments fund water supply schemes through budgetary allocations to SWAs. The funds provided are especially meant for capital projects, payment of staff salaries and major operations and maintenance of the water schemes, while the SWAs are expected to generate revenue through water rate collection for routine operation and maintenance. Invariably, they do not collect enough revenue, because they have not been allowed to charge economic water rates by government (FMWR, 2000). In Lagos, one of the states where public water supply started in Nigeria, the Lagos Water Corporation (LSWC) is charged with the responsibility of providing Lagosians with a potable water supply. However, this mandate has not been carried out effectively and efficiently by the water corporation due to several problems, which include but are not restricted to poor budgetary allocations by the state government, unstable power supply, ageing pipes resulting in frequent breaks, unmotivated staff and a highly politicized tariff setting regime. The rapid rates of population growth and urban expansion of Lagos as the major commercial and industrial state in Nigeria has led to increased demand for services. Preventive maintenance is not a common practice and limited funds have led to underinvestment in new and expanded capacity, while preventing the periodic replacement of the ageing components of existing facilities.
Regardless of the abundant natural water resources, the proliferation of waterworks in the country coupled with a robust policy that spells out strategies and attainable targets mean that the water situation in Nigeria could best be described as precarious, and over the years, improvement in domestic water supply has not been impressive (Olajuyigbe, 2010).
Water conflicts can arise in water stressed areas among local communities and between countries, because sharing a very limited and essential resource is extremely difficult. Almost one-fifth of the world’s population (about 1.2 billion people) live in areas where water is physically scarce. One-quarter of the global population also live in developing countries that face water shortages due to a lack of infrastructure to fetch water from rivers and aquifers (known as economic water shortage). Water scarcity forces people to rely on unsafe sources of drinking water. It also means they cannot bathe or clean their clothes or homes properly (FAO, 2007).
1.2 Statement of Research Problem
Over one billion people today lack access to an adequate supply of safe water for household use. In 30 years, as many as 5.5 billion people live in area suffering from moderate to severe pressure on water resources, rendering the provision of safe water even more difficult (UN, 1997). Although Nigeria has estimated water resource of 22.6 million m3 surface water and, about 40 million m3 underground water, it is still faced with the problem of acute shortage of water supply (FMWR, 2006).
The increased population civilization and industrial development has led to additional use of water, hence, increase in demand leading to more problems of water supply. In Arawa, there has invariably been an increase in number of residents as well as increase in both domestic and economic activities, thereby causing more demand for water and exerting pressure on the limited resources, water inclusive. This has hampered the efforts to improve the pipeborne water supply of the area. This pipe-borne water inadequacy has led people to the use of other alternatives such as well, which are not treated thereby leading to the increase in water-borne disease occurrence in the area.
This research is therefore aimed at examining and making documentable findings on the problem and prospect of water supply in Arawa area of Gombe state.
1.3 Aims and Objectives
The overall objective of this study is to assess the water supply planning in Arawa area of Gombe state.
Towards the attainment of the general objective, specifically, the study aimed to
- Analyse sources of water for domestic use.
- Assess factors or problems affecting water demand and supply
- Examine the consequences of the use of the alternative sources of water in the area
- Proffer possible solutions to the problems
1.4 Research Hypothesis
The following hypotheses were formulated in the course of the study:
H0: There is no significant relationship between the use of untreated alternative sources of water and the incidence of water-borne disease in the area.
H1: There is a significant relationship between the use of untreated alternative sources of water and the incidence of water-borne disease in the area.
1.5 Significance of the Study
Water is one of those resources that people take for granted until there is shortage of it or it becomes unsuitable for domestic uses. Water is a limited resource and there is more demand for it owing to increase in population in Arawa community. For instance, Arawa community and its environs are extending at alarming rate but instead of supply and distribution of domestic water to improve, water problems is worsening day by day and effort made by the government to provide adequate water supply yielded no positive result. The problems of busted and rusted pipes are hindrance to the distribution to places. This is why there is need for close monitoring and examination of demand and supply for domestic water for the purpose of spatial planning.
1.6 Limitations of the Study
Insufficient fund tends to impeded the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire, interview and secondary data collected from the station)
The researcher simultaneously engaged in this study with other academic activities in school. This consequently cut down the time devoted for the research. Time was a major constraint in this study. As a result of limited time within which to complete this work, the study was carried out using a case study approach. There was therefore the possibility that some issues regarding the topic might not come up if such issues are irregular to some areas that were not covered in the study.
Accessibility to data was also a constraint in view of the confidentiality of information. This limitation was minimized by relying on published reports and through websites.
The researcher’s association with the respondents was also very helpful in this direction. As an important measure to these limitations, time and resources were judiciously managed to achieve the objectives of the study within the stipulated time frame for completion of the work.
Conclusion and Recommendations
The inability to obtain adequate water and water facilities to match the growing population in Arawa community has resulted into a social and economic problem in the area. Water is the key to developmental process of any nation, as a lack of steady water supply hinders to some extend the influx of entrepreneurs in establishing activities especially those that are water dependent.
This inadequate supply of treated water is however continuously causing problem of poor sanitation and bad health, leading to shorter life span as well as social and economic backwardness of the area. If this is not properly looked into, it will persist, thereby causing more problems to the area and the country as a whole.
In view of the above findings on problem and prospects of domestic water supply in Arawa community Gombe State, the following recommendations are made.
Government should release fund for water projects to be carried out. Both state and federal government should put water as a major priority and they should not limit their activities to the developed or urban areas of the country at the expense of other areas.
Government should also go into the purchase of new water equipments, build public taps around as well as boreholes to prevent the use of other polluted sources, since these two are still the safest to all. They should also carry out an appraisal on water supply projects year in year out in order to have an update of water situation and water work activities.
The water board should work on different system of water shortage during the rainy season e.g. rain harvest from roof tops into large tanks, which can be treated and supplied to household during the dry season to curtail this storage since the dry season is the main season of shortage.
The water development agencies and hydrologist in particular should carry out proper feasibility study of any area before any water project is undertaken because every area is peculiar and not all projects will work in all areas.
Town planners as well as populace of these areas should have proper waste disposal method and should be conscious of environmental sanitation. They should avoid indiscriminate dumping of refuse in water channels. This will help the well water users’ life. The location of wells in closer link with pit toilets should also be discouraged.
Given these recommendations, if adhered to, the water situation in the study area cannot but improve in quality, quantity and adequacy thereby reducing the occurrence of waterborne diseases.
Based on the findings, the following recommendations were made:
- The water board management should be carrying out constant repair, that is reparing of busted pipes around the metropolis.
- There should be constant monitoring of pipe line so as to be able to repair damaged pipes, this could be achieved by going round to check the water distribution.
- The government should endeavor to come to water board aid by proper funding so as to purchase the material needed. i.e special allocation of fund should be make available to the water board so as to improve their service.
- The water board should change their attitude of bias in distributing water to households not to favour Government Residential Areas at the expense of the masses in the town.
- There should be concerted efforts by water corporation and household to avoid water wastage, this can be achieved by public enlightenment through the mass media and the customers also should endeavor to report cases that can cause failure in water distribution.
- There should be an extension of water pipe to cover more areas especially in the rural areas and rusted pipes in the urban centre should also be replace with new one.
- The consumers should endeavour to pay their water bill regularly so as to improve the water supply.
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