Access to Clean Water Remains a Major issue: ‘Pure water’ Main Source of Drinking Water

 

 

Abuja, Nigeria. March 10th, 2015 – Latest snap poll results released by NOIPolls Limited have revealed that  almost half of Nigerian households (48 percent) especially from North-East zone (69 percent) reported that access to clean water is a challenge to them. This figure represents a 1-point increase in this proportion of Nigerians from 2013 (47%), showing that in a span of two years (February 2013- March 2015) there has been no tangible improvement in the accessibility of water to Nigerians. More findings revealed that a significant proportion of Nigerians identified sachet water, popularly known as ‘Pure water’ (29 percent) as the major source of drinking water in their homes; representing a 2-point increase from 2013. While this source of drinking water might be affordable and easily accessible to Nigerians, its hygiene and quality has been questioned by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) especially due to the process of packaging. This has led to the closure of several sachet water factories by NAFDAC; For instance, in 2013, 54 sachet water factories were closed in Suleja and Minna of Niger state due to quality of production.

Other sources of drinking water cited by respondents include; ‘tap water’ (18 percent) ‘private borehole’ (17 percent), and ‘public borehole’ (14 percent), amongst other sources. These figures represent an increase in the proportion of Nigerians who have access to tap water (7-points) and public bore holes (8-points) in 2015 from 2013; thus indicating a progress in the federal government’s efforts through its ministry for water resources in providing portable water to Nigerian citizens through reformation programmes and several commissioned projects in various states. Nevertheless, access to clean water still remains a major issue to Nigerians to some extent as indicated by a high proportion  (72 percent: 47 percent+25 percent)  of respondents in this category.

More   findings revealed that toilets connected to private septic tanks are the most used sanitation facilities as reported by the majority of Nigerians (74 percent), while a significant proportion (22 percent) use pit latrine in their homes; representing an 11-points increase from 2013. This is mostly true for respondents from the North-West zone (45 percent). These are some of the key findings from the Access to Clean Water and Sanitation poll conducted in the week of March 2rd 2015.

Brief Background

The importance of clean water to human health cannot be over emphasized, water is life, yet supply to most cities in Nigeria is still a challenge. Safe drinking water and basic sanitation are of great importance for safeguarding human health, especially children. Diseases related to the consumption of poor quality water have been identified as the major causes of the high rate of children’s illnesses and deaths, as a result of infectious diarrhoea especially in developing countries[3].

The Global Assessment of Water Supply and Sanitation data, produced by the World Health Organisation (WHO)/ United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) Joint Monitoring Program, describes reasonable access to water supply as ‘the availability of at least 20 litres per person per day from a source within one kilometre of the user’s dwelling’. One is not unaware of the fact that this is near impossible in Nigeria. This is evident as most residents in the rural area either resort to private wells, streams or rivers for the means of water they use daily, while among the over  90 million people living in the urban and semi-urban areas, less than half have reasonable access to reliable water supply[4].

Nigeria has been grappling with issues of water scarcity across a number of its states. Increasing population, rising demands for food and cash crops, increasing urbanization and rising standards of living are the major factors leading to shortage in supply of fresh waters. This ugly situation has compelled many households, often in the lower class, to end up buying water from water vendors. While the federal government through its agencies is making efforts to providing portable water to Nigerians, it is imperative for the government to revive and increase the capacity of the water corporations to deliver potable water supply to the people and at a reasonable cost.

Against this background, NOIPolls conducted its recent poll on access to clean water and sanitation. The poll explored the accessibility of clean water to Nigerians, the level of challenge faced in accessing clean water and the awareness of any water or sanitation related project currently running in their localities. The poll also shows trends when compared to the previous Access to clean water and Sanitation poll conducted in February 2013.

Survey Findings

Respondents to the poll were asked five specific questions. Firstly, to identify the sources of clean drinking water to Nigerian households, respondents were asked: How do you currently get access to drinking water at your home? The result shows that most Nigerians use ‘pure water’ (29 percent) as the major source of drinking water in their homes. This is followed by respondents who cited ‘tap water’ (18 percent) ‘private borehole’ (17 percent)‘public borehole’ (14 percent), and ‘bottled water’ (8 percent) as their main source of drinking water amongst other sources.

Analysis by geo-political zone reveal that the North-Central (37 percent) and South-West (36 percent) zones accounted for the largest proportion of Nigerians whose source of drinking water is pure water, while the North-East zone (41 percent) has the highest number of respondents who indicated tap water as their main source of drinking water. In addition, the South-East zone (33 percent) accounted for the largest proportion of Nigerians who indicated private borehole as their source of drinking water

 

When the current results are compared with findings obtained in 2013, a 2-points increase is revealed in the proportion of Nigerians who use pure water as their main source of drinking water. Also, a significant proportion of Nigerians have sought more economical ways of accessing drinking water. This is evident in the decline in the proportion of Nigerians who use private bore holes (8-points) and bottled water (11-points) as well as a corresponding increase in the proportion of Nigerians who use tap water (7-points) and public bore holes (8-points)  in accessing drinking water for their homes.  

These findings also confirms the federal government’s commitment in providing portable water to Nigerians through its ministry of water resources by the commissioning of several reformation projects across the nation both in the urban and rural areas.[5] To mention a few, in late 2013, 12 states including Kano, Gombe, Benue, Jigawa, Ondo, Abia, Bayelsa, Anambra, and Plateau and Federal Capital Territory benefited from N64.3b urban water supply projects initiated from the National Urban Water Sector Reform Programme (NUWSRP). Also, in 2014, federal government awarded contracts for water projects in 4 South-West states including Lagos, Ogun, Oyo and Osun States.[6]

 

Subsequently, respondents were asked: Is access to clean water a challenge to you and your household? Responses revealed that almost half of the respondents (48 percent) affirmed that access to clean water is a challenge to them and their household with majority of respondents from this group representing the North-East zone (69 percent), while 52 percent of Nigerians surveyed revealed that access to clean water is not a challenge to them and their household; with a larger share of the respondents from this category representing the South-West zone (66 percent).

Trend analysis shows a slight 1-point increase in the proportion of respondents who indicated that access to clean water is a challenge to them in 2015 from 2013 (47 percent).

 

In order to ascertain the degree of challenge Nigerians face in accessing clean water, respondents who said yes in the previous question (48 percent of the total) were further asked: To what extent is access to clean water a challenge to your household? The result indicates that 72 percent (47 percent+25 percent) of the respondents stated that access to clean water is a challenge to their households to  some extent. This is mostly true for majority of the respondents from the North-West zone (77 percent). On the other hand, 28 percent indicated to a little extent with a larger proportion of Nigerians in this category aged between 18 – 21 years (55 percent).

Current poll result represents a 9-points increase from 2013, in the proportion of respondents who reported that access to clean water to a large extent is a challenge to their household.

 

Furthermore, respondents were asked: What type of sanitation facility (toilet) do you currently have at your home? Toilets connected to private septic tanks are the most used sanitation facilities as reported by the larger proportion of (74 percent) of Nigerians, whereas, 22 percent uses pit latrine at their homes. In addition, 2 percent say their sanitation facility is connected to the public sewage system and this is only obtainable in the North-Central zone.

More analysis by geo-political zone indicated that the South-East and the South-South zone accounted for the highest number of respondents (93 percent) whose sanitation facility is connected to private septic tanks, while the North-East zone (43 percent) and the North West zone (45 percent) have the largest proportion of Nigerians who uses pit latrine.

Trend evaluation shows an 11-points increase in the percentage of respondents who uses pit latrine and a 5-points decline in the proportion of Nigerians whose toilets are connected to private septic tanks in 2015 from 2013.

 

Finally, respondents were asked: Are you aware of any water and sanitation related projects going on in your locality? The overwhelming majority (81 percent) of respondents surveyed claimed that they are not aware of any water and sanitation related projects going on in their locality and this cuts across gender, geo-political zone and age-group. However, 19 percent of Nigerians confirmed that they are aware of water and sanitation related projects going on in their locality with a higher percentage of this group representing the North-East zone (32 percent).

Trend assessment shows a significant 9-points increase in the proportion of Nigerians who are aware of water and sanitation related projects in their locality in 2015 from 2013. This is so as more Nigerians currently benefit from such projects compared to previous years as seen in a previous chart.

 

In conclusion, currents poll results have revealed that most Nigerians rely on  ‘pure water’ (29 percent) as their major source of drinking water in their homes, while others use ‘tap water’ (18 percent) and ‘private borehole’ (17 percent) amongst other means. Also, almost half of the respondents (48 percent) stated that access to clean water is a challenge to them and their household out of which 72 percent of this respondents claimed that this challenge is to a large extent. More findings revealed that toilets connected to private septic tanks are the most used sanitation facility as reported by majority (74 percent) of Nigerians, moreover, a significant proportion of Nigerians 22 percent use pit latrine in their homes amongst other facilities. Finally, only 19 percent of respondents surveyed claimed that they are aware of water and sanitation related projects going on in their locality.

Survey Methods

The opinion poll was conducted in the week 2rd March 2015. It involved telephone interviews of a random nationwide sample. 1,000 randomly selected phone-owning Nigerians aged 18 years and above, representing the six geopolitical zones in the country, were interviewed. With a sample of this size, we can say with 95 percent confidence that the results obtained are statistically precise - within a range of plus or minus 3 percent. NOIPolls Limited, No1 for country specific polling services in West Africa, which works in technical partnership with the Gallup Organisation (USA), to conduct periodic opinion polls and studies on various socio-economic and political issues in Nigeria. More information is available at www.noi-polls.com

Disclaimer

This press release has been produced by NOIPolls Limited to provide information on all issues which form the subject matter of the document. Kindly note that while we are willing to share results from our polls with the general public, we only request that NOIPolls be acknowledged as author whenever and wherever our poll results are used, cited or published.

NOIPolls hereby certifies that all the views expressed in this document accurately reflect its views of respondents surveyed for the poll, and background information is based on information from various sources that it believes are reliable; however, no representation is made that it is accurate or complete. Whilst reasonable care has been taken in preparing this document, no responsibility or liability is accepted for errors or fact or for any views expressed herein by NOIPolls for actions taken as a result of information provided in this report. Any ratings, forecasts, estimates, opinions or views herein constitute a judgment as at the date of this document. If the date of this document is not current, the views and content may not reflect NOIPolls’ current findings and/or thinking.

 

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[1] http://www.informationng.com/2014/12/nafdac-begins-nationwide-laboratory-test-of-pure-water.html

[2] http://www.informationng.com/2014/12/nafdac-begins-nationwide-laboratory-test-of-pure-water.html

[3]http://www.worldwatercouncil.org/index.php?id.   

[4] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK11755/

[5] http://nwsrp.gov.ng/abt.php?dg=1

[6]http://www.premiumtimesng.com/regional/ssouth-west/172006-nigerian-government-awards-contracts-water-projects-4-southwest-states.html