The Availabilityof Safe and Clean Water in Nigeria: Thechallenges.

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Water is a basic necessity of life and every household in a variety of situations on daily basis uses clean water. Water is needed, in addition to drinking, for bathing and washing of all sorts of things. From the clothes we put on our bodies to the cooking utensils we use in prepearing what we eat. Clean water is also used in preparation of some drinks. Water is not just needed to maintain the biological fluid equilibrum of the human body, but also to keep our surroundings clean to reduce incidences of water transmitted diseases.

One would agree that something so basic and necessary should readily be available but that has not been the case with Africa. Africa is home to most of the poorest people in the world. It is a continent faced with numerous conflicts, trials and challenges; and a severe lack of access to safe water is amongst its biggest. An estimated eight hundred and eighty-four million people do not have access to safe drinking water, while some one and a half million children under five died each year from sickness caused by water-borne diseases. In Sub-Sahara Africa in general, there is no water shortage, but there is a lack of storage capacity and distribution systems.

Nigeria is Africa's most populous nation and is home to an estimated one hundred and sixty-seven million people. It is a country that receives a relatively high level of annual rainfall which is not distributed evenly through time or space. Because of these variations in time and space, people in different parts of Nigeria use water in different ways. For example, in the drier northern parts of Nigeria where rainfall is lower and less evenly distributed throughout the year, efforts have been made to develop irrigation. Down south, the rainfall is more abundant and supplies the teeming population who use it as a source of portable water.

While irrigation is important in a few parts of the country, the vast majority of people use water mainly for day-to-day household...
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