lt is often said that there is water everywhere, 'yet none to drink. It somewhat sounds like trumpet of exaggeration, nonetheless captures in vivid form the frustration of most people in developing countries particularly in Sub?Saharan Africa.
The acute shortage of potable water for consumption and industrial use has therefore prompted most responsible government to initiate concrete steps towards the provision of potable water at reasonable cost. Existing water supply facilities have been operating far below design capacities while the yawning gap has necessitated a total overhaul of the weak systems and processes to achieve optimal usage.
Also, additional facilities and improvementof piped networks have become inevitable if we are to reach the goal of waterforall. This situation is made worse with funding inadequacies, since water is widely buterroneously perceived as a social good, thus leaving the funding to government alone. However, present realities have informed on the fact that government cannot fund our water needs alone, as all other sectors needing equal attention are competing for available resources.
ln league with poor funding is poor maintenance of water facilities leading to infrastructural decay and unreliable services. Unarguably, this situation has assumed a national spread prompting the increased visibility of cart carrying water vendors, in our urban centres with sources of water and quality questionable and services offered at high prices. The Urban Water Sector exists without any form of regulation where standards are not enforced and tariff arbitrarily set at levels that cannot sustain continued water provision to meet the needs of our urban dwellers.
This condition has hampered the ability of the various State Water Agencies from meeting the challenges inherent in the Sector while they are burdened by limitations such as age of the water supply systems. erratic power supply, high cost of water treatment chemicals, lack of readily available spare parts. insuiticient transmission pipeline and storage system among others.
The National Urban Water Sector Reform Programme was initiated to specihcally address these inherent water crises in the urban centres, giving the tremendous population growth occasioned by rural-urban drift for people seeking better living conditions, jobs, education, other means of livelihood and their attendant infrastructure demands. The Programme, with the support of all stakeholders. promises to make this situation a thing ofthe past.