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THE DYNAMICS OF DOMESTIC WATER VENDING IN ENUGU NORTH L.G.A. OF ENUGU STATE, NIGERIA
The present investigation provides a case study of water vending in Enugu North Local Government Area, Enugu State of South Eastern Nigeria. Questionnaire copies were randomly distributed in the study area to 200 households. Data obtained from the field were analyzed using descriptive statistics and chi-square test. The analysis revealed that almost all the residents of Enugu North L.G.A. obtain their water from independent water vending systems which are operated by the private sector. Tanker truck, distributing and small retail water vendors all operate in the study area. There are an estimated number of 250 tanker truck drivers serving Enugu North L.G.A. Approximately 35 tanker trucks serve Hill- top/Udi siding ward, while there are a total of 52 retail vendors in Onuasata ward. Majority of the respondents are low income earners who spend within the ranges of NGN500 ($3.33) and NGN1500 ($10) a month on water on the average. 50.0 percent of these respondents opined that vended water was expensive. Of the respondents, 49.4 percent consumed 91 – 100 litres per capita per day, which is less than the 120 litres per capita per day recommended by the Federal Re- public of Nigeria’s National water supply and sanitation policy document of 2000. This deficit can be attributed to the cost of vended water. From the chi-square test, there is significant difference in the unit cost of water sold by vendors in the various wards in Enugu North L.G.A. In the absence of regular water provision through pipe-connections from the public utility, water vending should be supported but regulated. Meeting the water and sanitation target and optimizing water resources for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015 will require a dramatic scaling up of joint efforts by the state government and the people in ensuring that vendors provide safe water at a low cost.
Keywords: Households; Enugu State; Tanker Trucks; Water Policy; Cost; Water Vending