Localizing the strategy for achieving rural water supply and sanitation in Nigeria
Water is essential for sustenance of life and determines the overall socio- economic development of any nation. In Nigeria, so many programmes to improve water supply and sanitation situation had been put in place by different administrations. Despite this, the hope of meeting the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) target of safe water supply by the year 2015 is still uncertain. The MDG in water supply and sanitation aims to half the proportion of people without access to potable water supply and basic sanitation. More recent statements of the MDGs refer to the right of communities to have access to an adequate supply of safe water. Safe rural water supply coverage in this context is taken to mean water that does not represent a significant health risk; that is of sufficient quantity to meet all domestic needs; that is available continuously to all of the people and is affordable. There is no gainsaying the fact that the objective of improved rural water supply generally is limited to improved health. This paper therefore examines the extent to which government, implementors, and users are adopting different but interrelated mechanisms to deal with water stress in Nigeria. The paper also identifies the challenges in governance, government policies and priorities as responsible for poor service delivery. More importantly, a policy/institutional framework for sustainable rural water supply and sanitation delivery is developed towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals.
Keywords: Rural water supply, sanitation, sustainable development, Millennium Development Goals, Nigeria