Incorporating Productive Use into Water Systems in Urban Nigeria

Incorporating Productive Use into Water Systems in Urban Nigeria

TitleIncorporating Productive Use into Water Systems in Urban Nigeria
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of PublicationSubmitted
Full Text

Joachim Ibeziako Ezeji: Incorporating Productive Use into Water Systems in Urban Nigeria

Given the importance of the urban water system to low income productive water users, a functional and efficient utility as well as an appropriate policy framework has been identified as being imperative in order to maximize income and employment benefits for urban productive water users. This is true in Nigeria where water supplies to households by the water utilities have traditionally been confined within what is known as domestic water needs. The quantity of water supplied has often been meant to cover basic needs such as drinking, cooking and personal sanitation needs etc. However this has not been a true reflection of the use of this limited amount of water supplied. Recent studies in other parts of the world have however shown that millions of low-income households now, more than ever before are using their limited water supplies for activities such as productive uses. Such productive uses of water may not really thrive or even take off unless the required quantity of water is available. Such activities often generate numerous benefits to households involved. An understanding of how productive uses of water could successfully be mainstreamed into urban water systems in Nigeria was studied. This involved a social survey of households and institutions in Owerri, Nigeria; where productive uses of water is already real, particularly in activities such as home gardening, horticulture and livestock rearing etc. In view of the persisting problem in water supplies in Nigeria, where water utilities such as the Imo State Water Corporation (ISWC) is still enmeshed in intermittent supplies; the implications for households, especially the productive water users; alternative water suppliers and the government is explored in the paper in order to identify how supply sustainability for these activities could be maximized as a veritable tool vital in the fight against poverty. [authors abstract]