A survey of the community water supply of some communities in Rivers State, south-south Nigeria
Background: Water is essential for health, and therefore considered a fundamental human need that as a matter of right should be provided for all. The provision of quality portable water is therefore one of the millennium development goals. The objective of this study is to examine the water situation in some communities in the oil rich Niger delta region of Nigeria.
Method: The study was carried out in 14 rural and semi- urban communities in Rivers State, south-south Nigeria, using a descriptive cross-sectional study design. Data was collected using key informant interviews, field observations and focus group discussions. An inventory of the community water supply facilities in the communities was done, and information collected on the functionality, access and quality of the facilities.
Results: There were a total of 89 community water supply facilities in the communities, an average of 6.4 per community. However, only three of the communities had piped water supply, but with very few household connections. Most of the facilities were either provided by government and its agencies (73.03%), or provided by the oil companies operating in the communities (24.72%). Only (34.83%) of the facilities were however noted to be functional. Even as 32.43% of the water samples were found to contain significant numbers of Escherichia coli; all the samples collected from the rivers in the communities were found to be heavily contaminated. The median time spent in a round trip to a water facility was found to be 7.8 minutes, with 75.37% of the drawers spending less than 15 minutes for the trip.Conclusions: Most of the oil bearing communities had easy access to improved water supply, but most of the facilities were nonfunctional, with little community input in their operation and maintenance
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