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1.1BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Water is an essential element for life. Right throughout human history water has been looked on as something intertwined with humankind. Human beings live alongside water and are nourished by water. It is a primary building block of life. Without water there is no life (Renato, 2003). No meaningful socio-economic development can occur in any urban area without determined effort to improve the supply of water to its residents since water is critical to life. It is a resource without substitute. It is paramount to our health, food security, energy future and ecosystem (Transparency International Global Corruption Report, 2008).
Accessibility to safe drinking water is an all important issue evidenced by the wording of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) which calls on governments to “halve, by 2015, the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and sanitation”. The national water supply policy prescribes water for all with 120 liters and 60 liters per capita per day for urban and peri-urban / rural areas respectively by 2020 (National Bureau of Statistics, 2005).
Nigeria is blessed with a lot of natural resources among which is water. The water sector is responsible for the provision of safe drinking water (piped-borne water) to households, institutions, businesses and industries. The main sources of water for households are piped supply from treated water sources, untreated piped water from groundwater sources, shallow boreholes, wells and pond, springs, lakes, rivers, and streams (Nwankwoala, 2011). In the State level, the State Water Corporation is charged with this enormous responsibility of supplying piped water to the residents of the State.
In spite of the availability of this resource, the supply of potable water to the majority of our population is very much inadequate (Ojibo, 2009). The Enugu State Water Corporation has been deterred from carrying out their responsibilities by so many impediments. This has made it difficult if not seemingly impossible for them to keep pace with the Enugu city’s ever increasing households’ consumption challenges. The impediments has led to the decreased access to water supply by its residents, Increase death rate due to contamination of water-borne diseases as a result of irregularity of safe water supply and/or water services, increased spending and many more. Insufficient water supply will seriously hamper the welfare of people, industrial and agricultural production and the quality of the environment (Deursen, 2000).
From a preliminary enquiry, it was discovered that cost of living for many households has increased tremendously because of the cost of getting safe drinking water. For instance, in Enugu Urban, 25-litre gallon of safe drinking water is sold for fifty naira (N50), a tank of five hundred gallons is sold for two thousand naira (N2000) and a tank of one thousand gallons is sold for four thousand naira (N4000). The households resorted to complementing their water needs with water from contaminated rivers, wells and boreholes for bathing, washing and even cooking.
The study is therefore set to assess the effectiveness of the Enugu State Water Corporation’s effort to supply water regularly in Enugu Urban with a view to proffering a better solution to overcome the identified impediments which in turn will enhance or improve on the supply of water in Enugu.
1.2STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The supply of potable water to the majority of the population in Enugu Urban especially in the urban areas is very much inadequate. Today, only about 30% of our population has access to potable water supply. Even those privileged places that have access to such facility are not being served efficiently (Ojibo, 2009).
From a preliminary enquiry, most residents in Enugu have almost come to the point of taking water scarcity as a norm. The quantity of portable water supplied in Enugu urban by Enugu State Water Corporation does not really meet the demand of the populace. Some parts of the town have had dry taps for so many years. The few areas supplied with portable water usually have water shortages. As a result, water for domestic and industrial purposes is obtained from alternative sources.
The problem of water scarcity in Enugu urban is a major developmental concern because it threatens the sustainability of their social and economic development. The design of water distribution systems in general has been based on the assumption of continuous supply. However, in Enugu urban, the water supply system is not continuous but intermittent, leading to severe supply pressure losses and great inequities in the distribution of water (Khatari, 2007).
Enugu State Government has long considered the provision of pipe-borne water as a priority project. Despite significant investments in recent years, efforts to provide sustainable access to water facilities have had limited success. The study is, therefore, aimed at identifying the challenges that hinder the Water Board from supplying water regularly to residents in Enugu urban with a view to proffering a better solution to overcoming the identified challenges which in turn will enhance or improve the supply of safe water in Enugu.
1.3OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The broad objective of this study is to identify the challenges that militate against the effectiveness of the Enugu State Water Corporation regarding the regular supply of water to consumers in Enugu metropolis. To meet this broad objective, the study focused on the following specific objectives:
1. Determine the challenges of pipe-borne water supply.
2. Ascertain the effects of these challenges on the Enugu State Water Corporation’s supply of potable water.
3. To identify the measures taken by the Enugu State Water Corporation to ameliorate the situation.
4. To identify strategies to improve the supply of pipe-borne water to Enugu metropolis.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The study tried to answer the following questions:
1. What are the factors that challenge the regular supply of water?
2. What are effects of these challenges on the Enugu State Water Corporation?
3. What are the measures taken by the Enugu State Water Corporation to ameliorate the situation?
4. What are the strategies to improve the supply of pipe-borne water to Enugu metropolis?
The null hypotheses formulated to guide this study were:
Ho1:There are no significant challenges to regular supply of pipe-borne water to consumers/residents within Enugu metropolis.
Ho2: Challenges/constraints of regular water supply have no significant effects on the Water Corporation’s performance.
Ho3: There are no significant measures taken by the Enugu State Water Corporation to ameliorate inadequate safe water supply in Enugu metropolis.
Ho4: There are no strategies to improve the supply of pipe-borne water to Enugu metropolis.
1.6SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study ascertained the dominant factors influencing water supply system in Enugu metropolis. The understanding of these factors will help in improving the water supply in Enugu metropolis. The Enugu State Water Corporation will benefit from the study, which will highlight the appropriate measures to ensure steady supply of good quality water to the people. Further, the project will be useful to interested and independent body of researchers who wish to conduct research in similar fields. The general public will benefit from the outcome of the study, which will lead to improved supply of potable water in Enugu metropolis.
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study focused on the challenges of regular supply of safe water in Enugu metropolis by the State Water Corporation. It assessed the constraints encountered by the State Water Corporation and their effects on safe water supply. The study targeted the staff of Enugu State Water Corporation. The study became necessary at this time because the goal 7 and target 7c of the Millennium Development Goals which is to halve, by 2015, the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and sanitation is still uncertain.
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