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10th International Rainwater Catchment Systems Conference
"Rainwater International 2001"
Mannheim, Germany - September 2001

Section 2: Rainwater Catchment in Humid and Arid Regions

Paper 2.31

Challenges and Prospects of Rainwater Harvesting in Rural Communities in Eastern Nigeria

Uche Igwe
Nigerian Youth Environmental Network
Uwani, Enugu
Nigeria
email: akonauche@yahoo.com

Background

Freshwater is a precious but limited resource. Only about 0.007% of all earths' water is available for human use. If the earth's total reserves were compared to one gallon, (including snow and ice) fresh water will make up less than half a cup and readily accessible fresh water would just be about two drops.

Competition for those drops is increasing exponentially. By present estimates, about thirty-one countries, accounting for under 8% of the world population about 400 million people face chronic water shortages. Each year some 90 million people are added to global population and nearly every country will experience a per capita reduction of available water resources during the next three decades

Water scarcity on such a colossal scale in the age of space exploration, biotechnology and microchip is an economic embarrassment and a moral outrage.

The implication of the global water crisis has impacted on the capacity of third world nations to deliver contextual issues of development in areas of food security, health care delivery and poverty alleviation.

The challenges that face Africa seem most daunting. The annual rate of population is already high and there are doom day expectations that growth will stay high the foreseeable future.

The situation in our continent is exacerbated and complicated by prolonged drought in arid and semi arid zones, conjugated high population pressures and a rapidly growing competition for water in the agriculture and industrial sectors.

PDF of full document (4pp, 23kb)


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