However, as much as This has also been noted in other communities in Nigeria 17 ; and blamed on factors that include amongst others, the absence of a responsible body for the operation and maintenance of the facilities, and poor workmanship by dubious contractors These factors were also noted in the study communities as most of the non-functional facilities were those provided by government and its agencies, without any arrangement for their maintenance and operation.
On the other hand, facilities provided as part of an oil company's social responsibility were found to be mostly functional, because they had functional committees constituted and funded for the operation and maintenance of the facilities.
This is worse than the national average for rural areas of It is also not surprising that the two week period prevalence in the communities was The quality of water in the communities can be improved not only by ensuring the functionality of the water facilities, but most importantly by encouraging the use of point-of-use water purification systems. Point-of-use water purification systems have been found to deliver as much health benefits as an improved water source 5 , 6 , and among the most cost-effective approaches in preventing diarrhoeal diseases Promoting the use of the point-of-use purification systems require a deliberate effort, especially because Even boiling that is often recommended has been found to fail under conditions of heavy faecal contamination as found in the study communities; because of the ease with which household utensils are recontaminated Members of four of the study communities had complained of the quality of water from their facilities.
This is probably related to the high iron and manganese content of the water, as indicated by a previous study in the Niger delta Also, the fact that most of the water facilities in the communities had elaborate water treatment facilities points to the enormity of the problem posed by the high inorganic content of the ground water. The type of technology used to deal with the poor quality ground water is probably inappropriate, and responsible for the high level of non-functionality of the water facilities.
The sustainable use of the water facilities therefore lies in adopting an appropriate technology that can address the need, yet simple enough to be operated and repaired by readily available expertise There are already several low-cost and rugged technologies that can be applied at household and community levels in the communities for the treatment of water with high inorganic content 22 , 23 ; such technologies should as a matter of urgency be adopted and promoted in the communities.
Conclusion The communities had easy access to water supply, but most of the facilities were either contaminated or nonfunctional. The operation and management of the facilities by members of the communities, and the promotion of point-of-use purification systems are hereby advocated. Acknowledgments I wish to thank the Chiefs, members of the Community Development Committees, and the entire members of the study communities, for their assistance and cooperation during the field work. Footnotes Conflict of Interest: The study was part of a baseline study for a health impact assessment study, for an oil and gas pipeline project.
Prevention of diarrhoea in young children in developing countries. Bulletin of the World Health Organization. Estimates of global and regional potential health gains from reducing multiple major risk factors.
World Health Organization: Geneva; Safer water, better health: costs, benefits and sustainability of interventions to protect and promote health. Lancet Infect Dis. Interventions to improve water quality for preventing diarrhoea.
Cochrane Database Syst Rev. UN Millenium Development Goals. Water Aid Nigeria. Water and Sanitation in Nigeria: A briefing on national policy. Federal Ministry of Water Resources. National Water Sanitation Policy.
Department of Water Supply and Quality Control. Hydro geochemical assessment of groundwater quality in parts of the Niger delta, Nigeria. Environmental Geology and Water Sciences. Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey Calverton, Maryland: The results, tentatively reveals that Rain Harvesting System have a lower cost effectiveness ratio CER , followed by Borehole project and Desalination plant.
Therefore, rain harvesting system or projects in Ghana are more cost effective than borehole and desalination projects. However, to make an informed decision as to which of these interventions is suitable in both long and short runs, further analyses needs to be done.
Under the sensitivity analyses, the one-way varies only the discount rate while the multi-way varies both the discount rate and the lifespan of the interventions. Both analyses presents the worst case scenario reflected in the decrease in parameters and the best case scenario showing an increase in parameters. Despite the fact that the variation of the discount rate in the one-way analysis shows some changes in the CER of the three interventions, these changes are not significant enough to deviate from earlier results.
In both one-way and multi-way analyses, there was a close up between borehole and rain harvesting as both were seen to have had low CER. However, in terms of consistency, rain harvesting system recorded the lowest CER throughout the analyses. A look at the NPV estimates also buttresses earlier results as the present value of rain harvesting system was least, implying given the same outcome for the three alternatives, it is economically and financially viable to invest in it.
Acknowledgement I am very grateful to Dr. This policy proposal would not have been possible without the well taught lectures and materials provided by Prof. The same appreciation goes to Prof. Sombat, a co-lecturer and president of NIDA for his initial introduction of the public policymaking process and the intricacies involved. This proposal would not have also been possible without the contribution of my colleagues in class. To the Ministry of water resources, works and housing and its allied agencies in the water sector in Ghana, I say thank you for the information provided.
I also wish to acknowledge the endless efforts of the PhD administrative staffs of GSPA for their administrative contributions to making this course a success. The WHO and its allied agencies have been working feverishly with head of states of developing countries and other private institutions in ensuring majority of the world populace have access to good drinking water.
According to the WHO, lack of safe drinking water has become a major concern for third world countries. Available figures indicate that more than 3. Nearly all deaths, 99 percent, occur in the developing world WHO It is also estimated that million people lack access to an improved water source; approximately one in every nine people.
Water and sanitation crisis claims more lives through disease than any war claims through gun. The same report from WHO has stated that, women spend more than million hours a day collecting water ibid. These figures are alarming. Ghana has a land size of , sq km 92, sq miles with an estimated population of 23 million. Extensions were made exclusively to other urban areas among them the colonial capital of Cape Coast, Winneba and Kumasi in thes.
During this period, the water supply systems were managed by the Hydraulic Division of Public Works Department. With time the responsibilities of the Hydraulic Division were widened to include the planning and development of water supply systems in other parts of the country. In , the Department of Rural Water Development was established to engage in the development and management of rural water supply through the drilling of bore holes and construction of wells for rural communities.
Successive governments have provided Medium-Term National Development Policy Frameworks to guide the preparation and implementation of Sector and District Development Plans aimed at reducing poverty and improving the social well-being of the people. Throughout these policy documents, efforts have been made to mitigate the social canker of poverty through a countless number of interventions.
Present state of rural water supplies in Ghana Gyau and Dapaah contend that about These sources are usually heavily polluted and are the main causes of water borne diseases so common in the rural communities. Based on the same estimates, only about 0. About Though a number of researches have been able to identify the underlying causes of most water related diseases in Ghana, not much has been achieved in terms of the policy interventions at play.
Investment in water facilities has been lower than expected. This figure has however dwindled over the past 20 years affirming low investment giving the rising population in rural communities. Currently, the estimated rural coverage to access to potable water stands at Coverage expanded to Notwithstanding this, the regional coverage has shown lot of variation across board. The pictorial exhibits shown above reveal that there has been a fluctuating trend with respect to facilities targets as against the actual.
For instance, in , the target for the construction of boreholes stood at This represents a significant jump in policy interventions. However, this has not been able to meet the demand as there are countless communities without access to safe drinking water.
Most Only 46 The driest part of the country is found in the south-east coastland plains where the mean annual rainfall is about mm. From fig. The WHO and its allied agencies have been working feverishly with head of states of developing countries and other private institutions in ensuring majority of the world populace have access to good drinking water.
American Journal of Public Health. These sources are usually heavily polluted and are the main causes of water borne diseases so common in the rural communities. World Health Organization; pp.
The operation and management of the facilities by members of the communities, and the promotion of point-of-use purification systems are hereby advocated. During this period, the water supply systems were managed by the Hydraulic Division of Public Works Department. The same appreciation goes to Prof.