Access to Portable Water in the Rural Communities of Southwestern Anambra State, Nigeria

Okeke, I. O (2009)

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Fresh water especially for domestic consumption is a crucial resource for life sustenance on earth. The dwindling supply and growing demand however, is resulting to water crisis because climate change, water pollution from agricultural wastes, chemical runoff, raw sewage arc straining water resources in many parts of the world. These deplete large volumes of domestic water every year and worse still causes sickness and death in those without choice than to drink unsafe water. The complexity of the problem is that as domestic water supply decreases, population growth increases domestic water demand. Attempts and measures to improve access to safe water supply and distribution have been made at the different water development plan stages and water initiative$ in Nigeria, yet the MDG target of 75% for the year 2007 was unattained. In the rural areas challenged by water shortages and poor quality, water demand estimations and quality assessments have been carried out without establishing a control variable vital for rural water planning. The research therefore attempted the identification and characterization of domestic water sources; examination of patterns of access to water by rural households; quantification of household water consumption; water quality sampling and examination using WHO and FMEnv standard limits; and-the impact or reasonable access to water on the socio-economy and health or rural consumers in the Southwestern parts of Anumbra State. The concepts of Community Water Supply Management (CWSM), Water Supply Protection (WSP) and Threshold (Tc) as weIl as the methodology of related literature review, field studies and water sampling, laboratory and statistical analysis; development of the Rural Threshold Water Consumption (RTWC) model to' establish a control variable and delineate areas of water supply deficits, surpluses or balance were employed. The research findings show the nature of rural domestic water sources, average domestic water consumption of 25 - 29.2 Iitres, threshold control variable of 139 litres and variations in the water quality of the sampled rural water. The implications-of poor health, food insecurity and unsustainable water sector are resultant issues that require both private, community and government participation so as to advance the rural water resources data bank of the Southwestern parts of Anambra State.