The Nature of Rural Water Supply and Rural Community

The Nature of Rural Water Supply and Rural Community

This chapter further raised other relevant literature on the management and operational problems of rural water supply in Nigeria. (A case study of water corporation Awka). It started with a review of nature of rural water and rural community. It defined rural community in Nigeria sector as a sector of the economy where agriculture forms the main economic activity of the population, which other activities like handicrafts, petty trading and other small scale products units form a second line of activities undertaken usually to argument the meager income from agriculture.

ITDQ water Panel (1969) defined rural water supply as a wide category of schemes that ranges from a well with buchet supplying water to a few isolated huts to river pumping schemes with piped distribution much a simple treatment as communal stand pipes to taps in individual homes and even provision for livestock and vegetable gardens.

A rural community, on the other hand has no clear definition, though some communities are referred to as rural community.

However some attempts have been made by different schools of thought to define a rural community an each definition had been given on the basis of what the person on group of persons felt.

Washington (1980) explained that, in most countries of the world, both developed and under-developed, the degree of urbanization varies a great deal, where some urban and rural communities over-lap one another so that what may be regarded as an urban community in Africa. Moreover he emphasized that people generally feel that the rural community in developing countries should be defined in accordance with the population of the area concerned and the availability of infrastructural facilities in such areas.

Agu (1983) sees a rural community in Nigeria as “a sector of the economy where agriculture forms the main economic activity of the population while other activities live handcrafts, petty trading and other small scale production units form a second line of activities undertaken usually to the merye income from agriculture. He described the other characteristics of rural community to includes:-

  1. Low standard of living
  2. Low level of productivity
  3. Lack of medical facilities
  4. Wide spread illiteracy

The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (1973) describe rural community as a community with a population of 10,000 people and characterized by a highly integrated social system, social values, inter personal relations and habits.

Ugwumba (1991) sees a rural community in the contest of non-availability of infrastructural facilities such as viable water supply possess ability of perpetual succession and a common zeal and with power to sue or to be sued in its corporate name and to acquire hold and dispose of movable and unmovable property.

A government body known as the board of the Anambra State water corporation was established by the same Ediet for effective policy making of the corporation. The composition of the board comprises chairman and four other members to be appointed by the military governor.

The headquarters of this corporation was situated at Enugu but with the creation of Enugu State in (1991), from Anambra State, it moved to Akwa now the capital of Anambra state for effective and efficient management and operational scale.

The corporation has three zonal bases, Awka, Onitsha, and Nnewi zones. These zones are manned by zonal officers, at the management and operational levels, the general manager (GM) are the chief executive, managing he Whole Corporation.


ASN Ediet No. 16 (1978) states that, “the Board of Directors shall be the governing body of the corporation and shall in that capacity exercise all the functions of the corporation, and have right to delegate to any person or persons such of its functions as the board thinks may be more conveniently dealt with any person or persons so as to enhance the efficient conduct of the affairs of the corporation.

The board may with the approval of the governor appoint a fit and suitable person to be the general manager for carrying out the policy decisions of the board and for the co-ordination and direction of all functions as may be delegated by the board. The board has right to appoint on employ the secretary to the corporation. Thus the general manager shall be entitled to proper management of all the business of the corporation, the up keep and preservation of all properties of the corporation, as well as the overall supervision of all staff matters.

ASN Ediet No. 18 (1978) enumerated the powers which the corporation shall exercise in order to carryout the functions stated above as follows:-

  1. To prepare all plans necessary for the maintenance and development of its under teachings.
  2. To construct, reconstruct, operate and maintain water-works, stations, buildings and other works necessary for the discharge of its function.
  3. To carry any water pipe along through, across or under any street.
  4. To construct public fountain in any street or other public place.
  5. To enter into such contracts as may be necessary, advantageous or expedient for the performance of its functions including contracts for the construction of extension of water works or for the bulk supply of materials.
  6. To do anything for the purpose of advancing the skill of persons employed by the cooperation including the provision of facilities for training, education and research or for servicing the efficient running of the service and water works of the corporation or for improving the manner in which the same are operated.
  7. To determine adequate fees or charges and effective method for collective thereof for water supply and to collect such fees or charge, so however that any such fees or charges shall be approved by the executive council.
  8. Finally, to set up standards relative to water supply collaboration with federal ministry for the time being charged with responsibility of water.

Ilo (1993) confirmed that it is the state government duty to provides the corporation with all the capital need for investment and also decides where projects are to be sited and finally, approve the form of terrifies that the corporation charges its customers.

Ilo (1993) presented that as government agency, the (ANSWC) Anambra State Water Corporation was originally established to provide essential services to the communities in the urban area and was not established with a commercial orientation. Thus, the operation of the state water corporation his always been on production of water with little attention being paid to billing, customer, management and revenue collection.

Ilo however observe that the corporation to become a especially viable enterprise, it must give full attention to its commercial activities, by developing good customer management strategies that will make the customers to pay their water rates.

He recommended that the state government should allow the corporation to charge commercial rates for its services so as to scheme independent especially in the provision of funds for the day to day running of the corporation.

Aguloile (1993) emphasized that the corporations quest for improved water supply and revenue generation Awka had been hindered as a result of the following:-

  1. Poor record keeping
  2. The pattern of rural development in the era
  3. Understanding of the zone
  4. Inadequate water supply to customers
  5. Pipeline extension
  6. The number of revenue collection centers

Aguloile also explained that for the corporation to be able to overcome the above problems, the government should mount extensive enlightenment campaign to persuade the people of Awka to change their negative attitude towards the corporation. The communities should be made to realize that the water schemes are very costly, and cost a lot of money to construct and that after construction that funds are required for their maintenance and efficient operations.

Achebe (1975) states that the Anambra state government introduced a policy of decentralization of funding of public infrastructural facilities such as water, health, roads, electricity etc so that the users of such infrastructural facilities are encouraged to bear part of operating costs so as to ensure a higher level of involvement and responsibilities. This landable scheme is called “the rural water plan.”

Onyekaba (1993) opened that the Anambra State Water Corporation (ANSWC) approach to the people was not sympathetic while the existence of their individual hopes and fears was unacknowledged, hence the non participatory attitude of the rural communities in funding and executive of rural water supply projects. It is often said in Nigeria that unaccounted for water of many agencies is about 60%.

Okeke (1993) lamented that the level of participation in the provision of rural water supply by the Awka communities was not encouraging. He said that through the supply of water is genuinely needed by the people, their willingness to participate in the building of such project was nothing to tale about. Okeke noted that the majority of the wealthy individuals prefers to since their own private boreholes. This group of individuals Okeke noted has isolated themselves from the under-privileged line the worst imperialists.

Okeke stated that they had continued deceiving the people by telling them that the provision of water is an exclusive reserve of the government and would be gotten through the exercise of status and influences on the government functionaries. Thus the community involvement was restricted to provision of land and free volunteer labour for clearing of the land.

Moreover Okeke (1993) confirmed that even if the water agencies can manage to know how much they are producing, they are producing; they will not know what quantity is lost in system and which part is consumed by the consumers.

He also pointed out that illegal water connections contributed to the high are accounted for water and that losses occur through pipe breakages Okeke also observed that operational efficiency cannot be determined of the corporation will be able to know how much water it is producing and the quantity that is lost.

Achuwa (1993) asserted that the situation was different in Umudioka where people had initially associated themselves for entirely different purposes, but when they saw that the programme had been involved and some actions seen they become interested wholly.

He also confirmed that Umudioka people lying and all other facts of vast water supply schemes and are still able and willing to provide fund for purchasing of fuel and spare parts whenever the ANISWC was unable to provide such funds. Achuwa attributed this to the constant enlightenment compaign mounted by the Umudioka community so as to ensure the continued survival of the only water source.


—This article is not complete———–This article is not complete————
This article was extracted from a Project Research Work/Material Topic




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