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The concern of this study is to examine the problem of rural water supply using Utagba-Uno area of Ndokwa-West Local Government Area of Delta State and also examine the factors that militate against the demand for water, in the study area.

            This concern for water supply in a rural community is very important and needs due attention.  The project examines in detail the nature of rural water supply in Utagba-Uno communities.  Arising from the analysis of data got from different respondents and testing of the hypotheses, the following findings were made.

This work places focus on rural water supply in seven rural communities (Etua-Uno, Isumpo, Umusam, Umusoti, Umusadeli, Umusadege, and Ikilibi-Uno) which makes up Utagba-Uno in Ndokwa West Local Government Area, Delta State.

Structured questionnaire by the researcher was used as major instrument for gathering primary data coupled with oral interview, the researcher observation and other existing secondary data/materials.  A total of 210 questionnaires were administered, 30 to each community.  The stratified, systematic and random sampling technique was adopted for the questionnaire administration.  In all, 205 questionnaires were duly filled by the respondents and utilized for the analysis.  Simple percentage, chi-square and different chart were used to compute and display the result of the findings.

            At the end of the project, the following recommendations were made among others, that there should be a periodic review of borehole facilities in the area and other source of water should be evaluated periodically to determine its consumption value/quality.




Water is a unique resource that has no substitute, its quality and quantity vary over space and time for a given area and even for the whole globe (Ayoade, 1988). A causal visitor from extra terrestrial space would characterize the earth as the water planet, because water is its most abundant surface material (Oyebande, 1998).

Water is one of the most precious commodities throughout man’s recorded history, without it, life and civilization at least as we know it cannot survive and among the major purposes of water resources are the role they play as a catalyst for economic development (Luovitch, 1973). Thus economic development can only be achieved by proper planning and management of the resource (Egbulem, 1995).

Water is the life blood of the ecosphere. It forms the largest part of most living matter; it is truly a wondrous substance that connects us to one another to other forms of life, and to the entire planet. An average man is two thirds water and would weight only 1 3kg when completely without water (Nelson, 2002, Prescott et al., 2002).

Despite its importance, water is one of the most poorly managed resources on earth, we waste it, pollute it, charge little to make it available, and encourage even greater waste and pollution of this vital renewable resource (Feller, 1994). According to Christopherson (2002) Ayoade (1988) and Moore (1974), water is a renewable resource, constantly cycling through the environment and endlessly renewed. Even so some 80 countries face impending water shortage, either in quality or quantity or both. Over  two billion people lack access to safe water at the beginning of  21st century, some 1.8 billion lack adequate sanitary facilities, during the first half of the new century water availability per-person will drop by 75% as population increase without equilibrating quantity and quality of water supply (WHO Health Report, 1998).

Recently, according to the United Nations (UN) more than 5 million people die annually first from disease caused by unsafe drinking water, lack of sanitation and inadequate water supply. The major problems of safe drinking water are those of availability and quality (Ajewole, 2005). Only 61% of people in developing countries are estimated to have access to good water supply, greater in rural than urban area and 36% to sanitation facilities greater in urban than rural area. WHO Health Report,( 1998).

In addition (Ifabiyi, 2000), stated that out of every (10) ten rural communities in Nigeria (7) seven have inadequate water supply. That is to say these rural areas lack any facility for water supply but still depend on the use of well, stream and harvested water from roof top. However, the problem of water supply in rural area particularly the area of study for this work is numerous and multidimensional. Based on these, this work seeks to examine the problem related to water supply in rural area using Utagba–Uno in Ndokwa local government area in Delta State as a case study.


Water is an important natural resource relied upon for day-to-day economic activities and for healthy standard living. Thus the availability of water potable symbolizes an improvement in the level of welfare and productivity; while shortage of it leads to a contrary situation (Iyaiga, 2002).

Water is found everywhere in the world, its volume is estimated to be about 1½  billion cubic kilometers, but 97% of this is salt with mere 3% of the world water as fresh, at the 3% fresh water, 99% (that is  ¾ is locked up as glacier and ice in polar regions. Therefore only 10% is readily accessible to human kind, which would have been enough to sustain the earth’s populace but for the fact that it is not evenly distributed poses a problem in some areas (Ayoade, 1988). Two million die annually and animal and plant perish for lack of water (WHO and FAO, 2002). Since water is not always naturally available where and when we want it different source of water to suit need have involved.

About 30% of the world population is said to be without access to clean water. For example more than 75% of the populations of over two billion people in the developing countries do not have access to adequate supply of water. Out of the 500 million people living in sub-Sahara Africa in 1990 estimated by World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nation International Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF) shows that about 263 million lacked safe water, this situation is worst in some drought affected areas where renewable fresh water has dropped by more than 65% over the past 40 years (Ifabiyi, 2000).

In Nigeria, not everybody has access to adequate supply of quality water, About 60% of households in the rural area of Nigeria  depend on streams, 30% depend on private bores hole, wells and vendors while the remaining 10% depend on rainwater (Oluyinka, 1996).

In Ndokwa West Local Government area, the rural communities of Utagba-Uno have three major sources of water supply which include private borehole, stream and rain. Despite this fact, they suffer from two disadvantages. The settlement pattern is dispersed so that house to-house water connections are prohibitively expensive. Coupled with this is the fact that rural people have low disposable income. They cannot fund, maintain or contribute meaningfully to modern water supply schemes which are costly. The available sources are faced with seasonal variation and contamination.

On the other hand, distance places a limit to the use of river and stream as sources of water in the study area. Women with children of the community tracks a long distance of about 1 and 1½ kilometers during wet and dry season respectively to got water from the river or stream with buckets and other container on their head or bicycle. As it were, the distance trekked and time taken to get the amount of water needed by a household amount to the difficulties associated with this source of water (Igba, 2001).

Furthermore, the only available water facility in the study area  are those provided by the Directorate of Food; Roads, and Rural Infrastructures (DFRRI) and Oil Mineral Producing Area Development Commission (OMPADEC) in the 80s due to neglect and poor management the facility are presently moribund and most of the tap slab had been converted to refreshing  floor.

In addition, the problem of water supply in the study area is multidimensional and complex coupled with the inadequate top-down centralized plan and execution machinery adopted for rural development by the government; this has encouraged the imposing of projects on the people. Poor consultation with the people has further frustrated the improvement and mitigation of problem related to water in the study area.

In line with this few, research and study carryout in the study area in respect to water have been based on water quality that is the biochemical and physical analysis of the different sources of water; no comprehensive study has been carried out concerning water supply and problem related to it. Based on these, the following questions arise:

1.      What are the different sources of water supply in the area?

2.      What is the distance covered to get water from the various sources?

3.      What are the problems associated with water supply in the study area?

4.      How do the people rate the quality of water consumed?

5.      What are the management techniques adopted by the community to mitigate the problem of water supply?

6.      How is the quality of the various sources of water in the area access?


The aim of the study is to determine and study rural water supply and also the problem associated with accessibility and provision of water in rural area using Utagba –Uno-Ndokwa West Local Government Area of Delta State as case study.

To achieve this following objectives are spelt out.

1.                  To identify the different sources of water supply in the study area.

2.                  To determine the problem associated with water supply in the study area.

3.                  To determine the amount of water demanded in each household.

4.                  To evaluate the supply of potable water in the area.

5.                  To recommend ways of enhancing better supply water in the area

1.4       HYPOTHESES

Formulating research hypothesis for a research topic such as this is quite difficult due to the variability of data utilized.

However, it is necessary to make a conjectural statement based on the observed relationship between two or more variables in the study area related to the topic of study. Furthermore, the test and verification of this hypothesis will provide a good framework to make meaningful conclusions in respect to the topic of discourse.

The hypotheses tested in this study are:

The quantity of water utilized by each household is not dependent on the socio-economic status (income and level of education).

The quantity of water utilized by a given household is significantly dependent on the distance covered to get the water.

The perceived variation in the quality of the various sources of water supply in the study area is a significant factor that determines the choice of water source.

Null Hypotheses

(1)       The quantities of water utilized by each household depend on the socio-economic, status of the people.

(2)       The quantity of water utilized by a given household is not significantly dependent on the distance covered to get the water.

(3)       The perceived variation in the quality of the various source of water supply in the study area is not a significant factor that determines the choice of water source.


The study area is restricted to Utagba-uno which comprises Isumpe, Umusan, Umuseti, Umusadels, Umusadege, Ikilibi-UNo and Etua-Uno villages in Ndokwa West Local Government area of Delta State.

1.6       THE STUDY AREA

The study area will be discussed under the following:

·        Location and size

·        Brief History of Utagba-uno

·        Climate and vegetation characteristics.

·        Relief and drainage.

·        Population.

·        Socio-economic activities.


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