CLEAN WATER FOR AFRICAN POPULACE
Like any other Projects, provision of clean water for human populace needs to be properly planned (designed) for its successful take - off to meet the purposes, budgets and the allotted time-frame. As a result, the solutions for providing clean water will be elaborated on multi-faceted perspectives, namely Social Perspective, Economic Perspective, Environmental Perspective and Political Perspective among others.
Notwithstanding, most these perspectives to providing clean water, if not all, are interrelated. So, no matter the kind of approaches recommendable to providing clean water, effectiveness of any largely depends on the considerations of the influencing factors, if a sustainable solution to clean water provision is a priority.
Here, social background of a particular community should be dwelled upon. Indicators to this are the values, beliefs and norms as well as the demography of a society.
A careful study of the later gives relevant information about the population distribution in terms of age, sex, and occupation and so on. These pointers, if properly analyzed and interpreted, would serve as basis on which adequate planning to provision of clean water could be predicated.
This particular perspective to providing clean water has relationship with the social perspective in that most of the social indicators such as income levels of inhabitants determine affordability of access to clean water.
Overall economic status of the community has significant influence on planning and developing a clean water project.
Likewise, level of hygiene may fall and thereby leading to contamination of available water in a community, if standard of living falls as a result of relative high cost of living among others.
This concerns itself with the topography of the locality, the kind of activities around place; be it farming, mining, and industrial and so on.
In a situation whereby dwellings are situated at higher altitude relative to the water sources like ponds, lakes, rivers and so on, controlling contamination or pollution to water could be very hard. So, availability of clean water from the available source(s) down the hill would be very difficult, unless there are effective measures to safeguarding the water source from pollution and also consideration to bringing the water to proximity for the inhabitants for use, the effectiveness of such measures needs to be considered for economic and social considerations among others.
In contrast to the above situation, whereby dwellings are situated at lower altitude relative to the water sources such as hanging ponds, hanging lakes on the hills, and water falls and so on, controlling contamination or pollution to water from human activities could be relatively easier. Such sources of water could be harvested for use more economically with no need for installation of pumps with their consequential maintenance costs, as this water could be routed to travel under gravity to the proximity of the intending users. Water from these sources may require little or no treatment processes that may pose a consequential economic effect on the community or the provider.
Moreover, aside the topographical features of the locality already appreciated in influencing the provision of clean water, hydrological and geological histories of the area in question would prove to be potent tools to be considered, if functional and cost effective measures are to be adopted.
Effects of global warming which influence the amount of rainfall among others should be looked into.
By carrying out Environmental Impact Analysis, many of the environmental related issues concerning water provision could be addressed.
Under this heading the role of the governing bodies within the political system is paramount as the formulation and implementation of law solely rest on the shoulders of the government.
Government support towards sensitizing the citizen on the need and importance of sanitation and hygiene would go a long way in addressing provision of clean water.
Also living pattern in terms of town planning as it affects the building layout, sewage disposal systems and so on has a serious impact on the availability of clean water in a community.
In furtherance, some political cabers may, for personal egos, discourage any effort towards providing clean water for the community, if such cabers benefit in the unfortunate situation of inadequacy in clean water. For example, if some government officials have some form of investment in providing water to the locality, such officials may frustrate any attempt by the government or an organization in providing better means of access to clean water for the inhabitant for the possible fear that their business is being threatened. These elucidate the relationship among political, social and economic perspective.
Technically, there are numerous solutions which could be proffered for provision of clean water, as much as there are challenges to solving the problem. However, following are recommended:
Water Demand Analysis of the locality needs to be carried out:
From the demographical survey of the area in question, information concerning population distribution in terms of the inhabitants’ age, sex, occupation, educational background, income level etc. need to be gathered through questionnaires logically designed for the purpose. Data collected here should be analyzed using any relevant mathematical or statistical tools for correlation and interpretation. By this means, the per capita demand and/or consumption of water for various uses could be estimated for present and future (forecast) uses. This approach, if effectively applied with others, would assist in coming up with a cost-effective and functional planning for a clean water project.
Topographical survey, hydrological survey and geological survey are essential in this kind of assignment:
Topographical survey helps in gathering some information such as spot heights, contour of the ground etc. which reveal details about flow pattern of water and catchment. It also serves as a guide for the design and location of hydraulic structures for the purposes of channeling and retaining water, as the case may be.
Hydrological survey is called for in determining the availability of water as either surface water-found in sea, rivers, lakes, ponds; underground water- as in aquiver etc. and also precipitation-as in rain water, ice-flakes etc. More information concerning these could be obtained from the hydrological map of the area for proper planning
Geological survey provides information in respect of the mineral contents of rocks with which water from various sources interact before exploration. Also clues about the presence of fissures in rocks and depth of water table are also let out here.
As for the mineral contents, details about the quality of water revealed and guide concerning required treatment suggested. Not only this, useful guides for the design and construction of reservoirs and other works would manifest.
Policy formulation and implementation: Formulation and implementation of policies related to water provision in an area is solely the responsibility of the governing.
Here, the designer or developer of the scheme would have to liaise with the policy makers in his/her works. This would serve as an indispensable guide for the success of the works.
Other approaches: Other solutions to providing clean water are filtration, chemical treatment, pump installations, sinking of boreholes, rain water harvesting, education on hygiene, effective waste management system and so on. However, the success of any of these is a function of the above recommendations/solution, as already emphasized.