The World Bank has said that 68 per cent of urban dwellers in Nigeria have access to potable water supply with 40 per cent coverage in the rural areas.
This is contained in a report, “World Bank Group-Nigeria’s Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) 2014 to 2017’’ released by the bank in Abuja on Monday.
According to the report, Nigeria has invested heavily in water supply and sanitation sector but significant challenges remained and water provision or service is intermittent in the country.
“Currently, service coverage for potable water in urban areas is approximately 68 per cent and rural coverage is estimated to be 40 per cent of actual demand for water supply.
“The water supply is still characterised by low level of coverage and access rate, low capacity with a poor and disorganised funding arrangement.
“A recent analysis of the utility performance also indicates that there is lack of reliable management information system, low capacity utilisation of the water treatment plants and high unaccounted for non-revenue water,’’ it stated.
The report explained that the World Bank’s CPS programme was aimed at supporting efforts aimed to improve governance in the water sector and increase access to improved water supply.
“Building on the lessons learnt and the ongoing Urban Water 2 project, the Water 3, will address governance aspects such as institutional strengthening, policy and regulatory reform.
“It will also track system for access to potable water, service standards for state Water Boards and the involvement of civil society in sector dialogue to increase transparency and accountability.
“The CPS support will be anchored at the federal and state levels in order to promote synergies between state level reforms and federal awards of investment support,’’ the report stated.
It further explained that the CPS programme intended to increase the number of people with access to water supply by four million.
“It is also expected to gain a 45 per cent average increase in cost recovery for operation and maintenance,’’ it stated.
The report stated that the Nigeria government through its water policy aimed to improve public health and economic well-being of the urban populace.
“It will achieve these through provision of adequate, safe and sustainable water for domestic, commercial and industrial purposes in a planned and coordinated manner at reasonable cost to enable water operators’ break even.
“Government agencies, state water boards and water utilities will benefit from the investment, capacity building and advisory support to strengthen the water sector management and improve its financial sustainability,’’ it added