In some states, such as Lagos, separate agencies exist for rural water supplies and for urban and semi-urban water supplies. The local governments consist of the lowest tier of government in Nigeria Chukwu, They are tasked with providing democratic and accountable government to local communities at the grassroots.
In Nigeria, they are responsible for delivering services on behalf of the government as a whole to the remotest parts of the countryside. According to the Constitution of the Republic of Nigeria, and even that of South Africa, local governments assume the responsibility for designing, financing, and maintaining the rural WSSs Eva, NGOs and donor agencies also assist in the provision of affordable, economical, efficient, and sustainable water services in Nigeria, particularly to vulnerable groups, including children.
They assist variously, but majorly in planning, infrastructure development, and rehabilitation and service delivery arrangements in order to improve access to quality and sustainable services delivery WHO, Water system failures occur, constrain regular access, and cause water shortages in all the sampled communities. Field survey showed that most households The majority of the households depend on unprotected water sources — vendors, surface water, and wells Table 2.
The poor piped water services provision in the rural communities and the poor state of water infrastructure were highlighted in all the communities visited. This finding is not new; in fact, Adeleye et al. Findings revealed that the factors that occasion the massive failures in the rural WSSs vary in the sampled communities. Generally, however, the premature collapse of rural WSSs was normally attributed to water governance crises as well as to a range of institutional, managerial, technical, and social factors.
A summary of the factors identified as being responsible for the failures of rural WSSs by the service providers is shown in Figure 3. It is worth noting that most of the faults are mainly technology-related; responses from the field indicate that the majority of the system components are old and unable to function as intended. Interviewees indicated that the non-replacement of old components led to further deterioration of infrastructure and a downward spiral of escalating inefficiency in the rural water supply sector.
Respondents identified causes of WSS failures in Nigeria borehole faults included such faults as the collapse of borehole walls, etc. Source: Author's fieldwork. Literature evidence reveals that WSS failures also occur widely and exacerbate water scarcity in many other developing countries.
For instance, Eva reported that failures in the WSSs occur frequently in South Africa and attributed the failures to the shrinking service providers' budgets, increased electricity tariffs, and increased wages based on agreements negotiated at national levels. He added that service provision in the country is also constrained by inadequate technical capacity required to implement a sustainable operational and maintenance system for their infrastructure. A study undertaken in by Van Rooijen et al.
Local municipalities were found to be operating with an average of two civil engineering professionals per , population, which is far below the prescribed five civil engineering professionals per , population. In Mali, Chad, and Niger, Fotso et al. Droughts in these areas are often cyclic and land use practices exacerbate their effects.
In Kenya, Tanzania, and Ethiopia, lack of resources and capacity constrains preventive maintenance and exacerbates WSS failures Carlsson et al. Service providers in these countries are struggling with critical deficiencies arising from the use of old and deteriorating infrastructure, weak institutional framework, poor governance structures, and a lack of capacity including properly trained personnel and with the required skills Carlsson et al.
The lack of resources and capacity often forces service providers to focus more on activities necessary to deliver immediate services, while preventive maintenance Eva, , which involves activities that may keep the system in long-term good operating condition, is neglected. Field survey revealed that despite the involvement of multiple agencies and several decades of water supply system development in the study communities, access to piped drinking water still remains critical.
The majority of the sampled households No sampled household had access to piped water on the premises. Strong disparity existed among the sampled households on the proportion of the households that depended on the various local water sources in the states. For instance, of the None of the sampled communities has a public piped water supply network and boreholes that are fully functional. Observed facilities were either malfunctioning or have completely broken down.
The situation of general poor access to piped drinking water in the sampled communities in Nigeria is typical of the prevailing situation across many other developing countries, especially in SSA. For instance, Table 3 illustrates the general poor access to piped drinking water in the SSA sub-region. As Table 3 shows, groundwater is the preferred and most widely used source of water for the majority of the rural population in Chad, Senegal, Niger, Mozambique, and Mali.
Groundwater has the benefit of being naturally protected from bacterial contamination and is a reliable source during droughts. As shown in Table 3 , surface water sources are leading sources not only in Nigeria but also in many SSA countries such as Uganda and Ethiopia.
Unfortunately, these sources are often highly polluted and water quality testing is not performed as often as is necessary to guide rural users in most developing countries Awuah et al. Also, lack of education among the rural residents utilizing the water sources leads them to believe that as long as they are getting water from a stream, it is safe. Once a source of water is available, the quantity of water is often given more attention than the quality of water by the users Awuah et al.
Rural water policy provides guidance on the roles and responsibilities of all stakeholders involved in rural water project implementation, from communities to central bodies WHO, Sustainability is always a high priority in the rural water supply policies of most countries and regions Van Rooijen et al. Policies for the sustainable provision of potable water to rural dwellers in Nigeria are scantly enshrined in a number of different pieces of legislation at both the state and national levels in Nigeria.
Examples are the Nigerian Mineral Act of , which became law in , the Water Act in Nigeria, the Nigerian Water Act, and the National Water Supply and Sanitation Policy of , which spelt out the institutional framework for rural and urban water supply and development in Nigeria Adeoye et al. The rural water supply policies at both the state and national levels in Nigeria have been reviewed severally since the International Decade for Rural Water Supply of the early s based on a need to comply with international treaties i.
Yet, drinking water supply in all the sampled rural communities still remains critical; massive failures, frequent breakdowns in rural WSSs, and general underperformance of RWSSs characterize and constrain services delivery in all the sampled communities. Findings from sampled communities and from documents on water resources literature reveal the policy gaps that constrain water services delivery in Nigeria. The most critical include the following:.
Post-construction support PCS is not systematically applied as an integral part of community-based policy in the rural water supply sector of Nigeria. Although it is formulated as a role to be performed by the federal, state, and local government water agencies in Nigeria just as in South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, and Mozambique Carter, , the water agencies do not have the dedicated resources or institutional arrangements to fulfill it. This limits the capacity of service providers and service authorities to procure needed spare parts, and chemicals, and undertake essential repairs.
As a result of this, many of the rural WSSs are dysfunctional and ill-maintained. Findings from the 60 sampled communities and even evidence in the literature reveal that the local community members who are supposed to participate in and monitor water supply projects lack the capacity to do so. First, they lack contract information as well as the required technical knowledge and skills to operate and maintain water supply facilities or participate in their monitoring and evaluation. Worse still, there is no training undertaken to equip them for the roles they are expected to play.
This undermines their ability to contribute to repairs and preventive maintenance. Second, women, often confined to gender-stereotype activities, are not consulted on matters concerning rural water supply, even though they bear a great burden of the works involved. Marks et al. Another policy gap is the limited consideration or non-consideration of how settlement patterns and densities interact with different types of rural water projects.
In Plateau and Cross River states, for instance, millions of rural residents live on mountainous, inhospitable, rugged, and largely inaccessible hill slopes. This implies that governments cannot provide ALL population groups with potable water as enshrined in the Water Acts of states and national water agencies under the current settlement pattern. Second, the maintenance requirements per consumer will invariably be too high for scattered rural settlements. Third, the quantity of water infrastructure will equally be too high for scattered rural settlements.
Therefore, governments need to pursue a policy of encouraging the widely dispersed settlements to form bigger clustered villages with others to serve them with RWSSs that best serve higher numbers of consumers living in higher concentrations. More people will thus be served with the same infrastructure leading to higher economies of scale. The non-recognition of IWSPs as key stakeholders in rural services delivery in Nigeria is another policy gap.
Rural water users in Nigeria obtain water from both formal and informal sources to meet their water needs. Unfortunately, IWSPs are not legally recognized, regulated, or monitored by national water agencies within the country's institutional framework. Because of this, the health risks from using water from informal sources are neither known nor documented.
Government failure to recognize these IWSPs and monitor the quality of water they provide to consumers in Nigeria is a big gap in government approach to rural supply in the region. Finally, public piped water networks and boreholes are generally dysfunctional in the sampled communities, while the privately owned ones are usually functional — serving users with speed and quantity.
This shows that encouraging private-sector involvement or adopting some private-sector principles in the construction, operation, maintenance, provision of spare parts, choice of technology, research, etc. In Nigeria, the primary responsibilities for public water supply development are vested in the local, state, and national government water agencies and non-government agencies such as UNDP Chukwu, These government and non-government agencies carry out rural water development projects in an uncoordinated manner; quality services' delivery and projects' sustainability receive little emphasis.
Water supply agencies tend to focus more on project development than on the functioning throughout the entire life cycle of water supply schemes. Findings show that rarely do the government water agencies set aside dedicated resources for the operation and maintenance of developed schemes throughout their designed lifetime.
Without appropriate maintenance, the schemes quickly degrade and collapse. In all the states studied, quality control and assurances were downplayed by the states' water engineers. Emphasis was more on the number of communities covered rather than on water supply system efficiency.
Sustainability issues relating to prompt provision of spare parts, other technical support and maintenance structure are not properly addressed at planning stages. Consequently, water supply projects' benefits are short-lived. The reality is that the number of public functional piped water networks and boreholes in the sampled communities is very low In Nigeria, rural water supply policies are poorly defined and the implementation of the existing ones by states and national water supply agencies is constrained by a number of policy gaps.
The situation is exacerbating the level of water poverty and the functionality of WSSs in the rural communities. Currently, the provision of adequate and reliable water supplies to the rural population remains a matter of great concern. Sustainability of rural WSSs is an acute problem mainly due to widespread water infrastructural decay and frequent system breakdowns.
Less than Most of the sampled rural communities lack or have poor, non-functional water infrastructure. Many water schemes have fallen into disrepair or are not working to full capacity. The sustainability of installed WSSs is affected by numerous factors ranging from inadequate technical capacity, through low budgetary provisions, paucity of spare parts, corruption, low investment levels, lack of cost recovery, non-availability of spare parts, inadequate system maintenance, inadequate local resources' mobilization, ineffective community management models, to finance for operation and maintenance, to inadequate external support.
The non-functionality of many of the RWSSs imposes hardships on the people and handicaps economic activities throughout the study area. As a result of this situation, the majority of the people in the study communities take their drinking water directly from vendors, streams, and rivers. Apart from Owo and Ikare communities where an oil firm assists in facility maintenance in Ondo state, the RWSSs in the rest of the states are in no position to meet users' demand.
Different types of system faults were identified. Water services' providers have, so far, not been able to increase the sustainability of water supply coverage and increase the quality of services. As a result, many water users in the region obtain water from informal sources to meet their water needs.
The low level of dependence on piped water supply in the sampled communities is not surprising. Many of the public RWSSs are old, dysfunctional, generally unreliable, erratic, and ill-maintained. With limited capacity, resources, access to spare parts, and skills, the benefiting communities are generally unable to manage, operate, and maintain these systems efficiently. The required trained personnel to carry out operation and maintenance activities using government resources and technology are not always available.
Previous workers have revealed similar findings in some other developing countries. In Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania, Tadesse et al. For several decades Nigeria has experienced rural water supply shortages and poor quality water services' delivery. National and state public water supply agencies develop WSSs in rural communities and allow the critical water infrastructure to deteriorate, decay, and collapse.
The massive failures of public WSSs in Nigeria, together with the challenges implicit in them, need, therefore, to be addressed. One way of confronting this issue is to close the policy gaps in the rural supply sector at the national and state levels through policy reforms. First, there is an urgent need to reform the principal legislations governing rural water supply in Nigeria in order to adequately address the present and future water needs of the rural populace.
The critical issues that should guide the reform policy must be quality service delivery and sustainability of rural water supply services. The legislations governing rural water provision in Nigeria should aim at attaining lasting services' provision in order to alleviate the suffering of the rural dwellers. Adequate provisions of post-construction support need to be the precondition for qualification for the establishment of rural water projects and service providers must have the capacity to rapidly respond to system failures.
The states and federal governments should closely monitor service providers and enhance their capacity through technology upgrading, etc. Second, the widely held view on, or trust in, the effectiveness of the CP policy needs to be revisited. No evidence is available to show that sustainability of rural water services' provision is being achieved with the current model of CP policy in which benefiting communities receive little or no external support to sustain supply services.
Cases where benefiting communities have successfully participated in the planning, development, and choosing technology type are rare in the study communities. The factors constraining the effectiveness of this policy need to be addressed. Third, introduction of measures to regulate the activities of IWSPs is both justified and highly desirable. IWSPs have become important and even the preferred service providers in the sampled rural communities, where they are now ubiquitous and helping households to meet their water needs.
They are capable of, and are already sharing, the task of delivering potable water to the rural communities. There are useful lessons that public-sector agencies can learn from the IWSPs to boost water service delivery to rural communities. Such lessons include: IWSPs operate, maintain, and extend water facilities with relative ease largely because of the traditions of prompt financing and effective management of facilities.
Financial viability, and prompt and efficient management may help to revive many of the dysfunctional RWSSs in the study area. Governments can encourage and assist IWSPs through technology upgrading, training, marketing support and credits, to enable them to develop and deliver better services to the people. However, the activities of the IWSPs should be closely monitored and regulated to ensure that they deliver water of acceptable quality to the users. Fourth, governments and donor agencies need to set strict rules for the selection of simple and affordable technologies for rural water services' delivery in Nigeria.
The reason for this is largely technical. There is a need to choose the type of technology that rural residents can afford, operate, and maintain. In the light of the high poverty level in rural communities, and rapid growth and development in engineering technologies and their applicability to developing drinking water, such rules will be more and more urgently needed.
Finally, in choosing a water source to be developed, the adequacy of the source and the settlement pattern of the benefiting community should be considered. If several water sources are available or can be mixed, preference should be given to underground sources, which are more widely available in Nigeria, technically more feasible and more adaptable to the use of simpler technologies.
Nigerian surface waters are extremity polluted see Figure 4 and the technologies required to treat such polluted water are expensive. Effluent discharges and other pollutants in Orji River, Enugu state. Most rivers in Nigeria are extremely polluted.
A major problem facing the rural dwellers in Nigeria is the inadequate availability of potable water on a timely basis and in the quantity required Marks et al. Evidence from this work indicates that this constraint is largely linked to the policy gaps in Nigeria's rural water supply sector.
In Nigeria, weak institutional framework, inefficiencies in the management of state-owned RWSSs, lack of essential resources, and, sometimes, spatial dispersion of rural households are major constraints to the sustainability of rural WSSs.
RWSSs are largely under state control; benefiting communities are rarely involved in, or are too weak to contribute to, both the design of water distribution systems and the maintenance of the network. As a result, access to potable water from RWSSs is low and this affects the quality of life of both men and women and their families. The current model of developing and managing rural RWSSs in the area needs to be improved through policy adjustments; recognition of and support to IWSPs may also improve access to safe water and make rural water supply service provision more sustainable.
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Sign In or Create an Account. Advanced Search. Sign In. Skip Nav Destination Article Navigation. Close mobile search navigation Article navigation. Volume 20, Issue 3. Previous Article Next Article. Theoretical literature review. Area of study. Data analysis. Article Navigation. Research Article January 30 E-mail: michael. This Site. Google Scholar. Water Policy 20 3 : — Article history Received:. Cite Icon Cite. Future directions , Nigeria , Policy gaps , Rural communities , Rural water supply , Service providers , Sustainability.
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Economic literature: papers , articles , software , chapters , books. FRED data. My bibliography Save this article. Registered: Adegbemi Babatunde Onakoya. The growth and development of any nation is highly dependent on the level of infrastructure. Infrastructural decay has taken a big toll on the economic development of most Sub- Saharan African nations. This paper investigated the effect infrastructural decay on the growth of the manufacturing sector in Sub- Saharan Africa with particular reference to the Nigerian situation.
The data necessary for this study were obtained from secondary sources. The results of unit root suggest that all the variables in the model are stationary. The ordinary least square regression with a coefficient of 0. A co-integration test was performed on these variables to determine the long-run relationship between the variables.
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