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MANAGEMENT AND OPERATIONAL PROBLEMS OF RURAL WATER SUPPLY IN NIGERIA (A CASE STUDY OF WATER CORPORATION ENUGU)

 CHAPTER ONE

1.1            BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

Nigeria is blessed by nature with a lot of natural resources amongst which water is one of them, WORLD HEALTH ORGANISATION (WHO) confirmed that Nigeria was blessed with abundant water resources, the excess of which has been causing flood and erosion in many part of the country.  However, the distribution of this water resources was not evenly spread over the country, life and other agricultural activities every year irrespective of the draught that frequently occur in the Northern part of the country of course, man had been obtaining water for domestic and other purposes since man’s creation.  Water supply can therefore be said to be as old as man itself.

 Inspite of the availability of resource, WHO (1976) maintained that “its supply to the majority of the population especially, the rural areas is very much inadequate”.

Enugu state of Niger Ediet No. 16 (1978) simply defined rural water supply as a wide category of scheme ranging from a well width buchet supplying water to a few isolated but to river pumping scheme from such a simple treatment as communal stand pipes to tap in individuals homes and provisions for linestock and vegetable gardens.

Ilo (1991), however stated that various traditional means of obtaining water has been developed by individual and communities for many centuries and that some of these systems were very much in use by various communities both rural and urban.

The United Nations Economic commission for Africa (1973) confirmed that it was only about 20% of the population of Nigeria that have access to potable water supply.  It further stated that majority of these people are those that are living in the urban and semi urban area of the country and that even the privileged places that has access to such facilities were not being served sufficiently.

Thus the need for the provision of adequate water supply and sanitation is highly appreciated.  And this had promoted the choice of the topic on the management and operational problems of rural water supply in Nigeria.

A case study of water corporation Enugu, with a view to recommending solutions which if accepted, would help to solve these problems and as well, facilitates to the alleviation of the sobering of the people.

 Water Corporation Enugu was establishing as a parastatal under Enugu State of Nigeria Edict No.16 of (1978).  The corporation was originally charged with the statutory responsibility of supplying drinking water to all the urban as well as the rural communities of old Enugu State.  It was formerly the water section of then East Central State Ministry of Works and Housing.  The general manage is responsible of the day to day running of the corporation, while the board of directors or the commissioner of the controlling ministry in the absence of the governing board, is responsible for policy matters only.

 Umeh (1993) stated that the corporation is presently operating eleven (11) zonal offices in the state including Enugu.  He stated that the corporation is principally maintained from government subventions and budget allocation for capital projects and from internally generated revenue, water tariffs, sales of metres, fees etc, for its day to day operations.

1.2      STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

Enugu as a growing industrial and commercial town has been without adequate supply of potable water.  This potable water supply inadequacies being experienced in the rural communities of Enugu have been brought about by many factors.  Despite the huge sums of money being sum into these rural water supply, yet water is still very inadequate.

1.  It has been difficult for the society to understand the extent of the aims and objectives for setting up the water corporation.

2.  Another problem is whether the resources both human and material are adequate.

3.  The attitude of water consumers have also constituted a problems.

4.  The instability in government and constant changes in leadership.

 1.3   OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY

The purpose of this research project on the management and operational problems of rural water supply in Nigeria.  A case study of water corporation Enugu to investigate the followings.

1.   To extent to which the aims and objective of rural water supply programme are being achieved in Nigeria with particular reference to Enugu rural communities.

2.   To find out the extent of adequacy and suitability of materials and human resources for change in rural water supply programme in Enugu.

3.   To ascertain the extent to which the changes in government and leadership affect the steady water supply.

4.   To find out the extent to which the management and operational problems affect the functionality of the rural water supply service in Nigeria with respect to Enugu.

 1.4      RESEARCH QUESTIONS

To guide this study five research questions were formulated, they include the following.

1.   What are the characteristics of rural water staff and socio-economic characteristic of rural household?

2.   To what extent are the aims and objectives of rural water supply programme being achieved in water co-operation?

3.   How adequate and suitable are the materials and human resources for change in rural water supply programme in Enugu?

4.  To what extent does the management and operational problems affect the functionality of rural water supply services in Enugu.

5.   To what extent does the changes government and leadership affect the management of water corporation Enugu?

 1.5      SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

The issue of the benefits in effective and increased water supply in the rural areas of Enugu cannot be overemphasized as it has been stated earlier.  Inadequate water supply coupled by sanitation had been the bare of rural communities in Enugu.

1.  The growing industrial and commercial town of Enugu has been without adequate supply of potable water since the collapse of the two boreholes at Umuokpu pumping station.

2.  It is however hoped that the research the management and operational problems of rural water corporation Enugu will provide information, which if utilized, will help in finding solution to the above problem.

3.  The information gathered from this study is also expected to serve as a basic for social policy decisions which will enable the government to designs specific policies that will be beneficial to the community and will improve and enhances the efficiency of water corporation Enugu.

4.  It is also hoped that participation in this research project will help to burden the knowledge of the researcher, in the field of management & operation.

 1.6      DEFINITION OF TERMS

Manaent could be defined as a “social process entailing responsibilities for an effective planning and regulations of operation of an enterprise in fulfillment of a given purpose or task such responsibilities involves (a) judgment and decision in determining plans and progress against plans and guidance integration, motivation and supervision.

          Operation means the way something works or come into operation or being used.

Corporation is a business organisation made up of a number of owners who have right to do business as a single legal unit.

REFERENCES

 Ifedi C. (1997)      Management Planning for Succession, Concord Pg. 9.

Ilo, G.C. (1991)    “Brief to the Governor” Enugu ANISWC (October)

Brench, E.F. (1975)       The Principles and Practice of Management Longman Group Ltd

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