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Challenges of private provision of potable water in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area and its Socio-economic implications

International Journal of Hydrology
Wocha Chikagbum,1 Ibama Brown2

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Water is a basic and necessary requirement for the existence of animals and plants, yet it is limited in supply in several parts of the world. Surges in human population and demand for water for different purposes such as agricultural, domestic and industrial usages are the major factors leading to water scarcity. Nigeria and the study area are blessed with abundant water resources including surface and groundwater, yet there is a palpable lack of adequate and safe potable water. Consequently, the populace resorts to private sources of water supply which has its negative externalities even though the effort seems laudable. Based on the above, the study examined the proliferation of private water supply, its challenges and socio-economic implications in Obio /Akpor local government area. The study adopted a cross-sectional survey, and data were collected with the use of both closed and open-ended questionnaire. It also involved the collection of the private borehole points with the use of a handheld global positioning system (GPS).  Data were analyzed using the descriptive method of analysis and data presented in charts and tables. The result of the study showed that there were no specific distances maintained between borehole points, a good number of borehole locations were clustered in some parts of the study area. Also, distances between soakaway pits and borehole points were inadequate in some communities. Based on the prevalent minimum wage in the study area, both households that operate boreholes and those that buy water spent more. Some of the socio-economic implications of private provision of water supply include too much spending on water, creation of livelihoods for water vendors and vulnerability to waterborne disease such as typhoid since there is no minimum standard for borehole drilling and distance in the study area. The study recommended that the government should develop a private borehole drilling standard that would include the minimum distance that must be maintained between two boreholes on vertical and horizontal lines. Also, the activities of the private water vendors should be regulated, and operating license obtained before operating commercial boreholes. The study concluded thus, there should be a synergy between the private and public sector to ensure safe and affordable water supply since their activities cannot be undermined.


challenges, private, provision, water supply, socio-economic implications