Tag Archives: Komadugu-Yobe Basin

Water shortage and water wars in SW USA: Lessons for Komadugu-Yobe Basin

Reading the story in the article below of the imminent Austin, Texas water war one could make a projection of similar development in the Komadugu-Yobe Drainage Basin in Northeast Nigeria. This article gives an insight into the kind of conflict that develops when any part of the globe suddenly discovers that it has become a water stressed or deficient area as a result of cyclic drought or climate change.

The drought in the Southwest USA has resulted in, for example, water conflicts in California and Texas. In California, the State has put together some water conservation regulations and there have even been reported cases of water theft. It has also led to a situation in Austin, Texas where urban communities and developers have become somehow creative in the interpretation of existing water laws. What has led to this creativity is the large scale decrease in available surface water which means not enough to pump for use in the cities. The developers and the cities discovered a gap in the Water Law which gives them a chance to go after groundwater. They thus enlisted the services of a drilling company to drain part of the water of the Trinity Aquifer.

What lessons can Nigeria’s NE (Hadejia-Komadugu-Yobe Basin) (HKYB) learn from this?

At the HKYB annual floods have for many years in the past supported the diverse socio-economic activities of the area. “To millions of West Africans the river brings comfort when flowing in abundance, misery in times of drought” (Gerster, G. (1975). This applies to HKYB also. This Basin has experienced droughts – since the first sharp phase in the years 1972-73, there have been consistent shortages of rainfall in the dry areas of tropical Africa, including HKYB. A notable worsening in the drought occurred in 1983-84, and shortages have remained the general rule up to at least the recent past. These have greatly affected the major rivers. Furthermore, with the development and construction of the Tiga and Challawa Gorge Dams in Kano State, an upstream state, flow has also been reduced and occurrence of floods and groundwater recharge of the wetlands has been considerably reduced.

The construction of these dams was undertaken because of the need to meet the increasing water demand resulting from rapid urbanization and high population growth rate. However, it is believed that what accounts for the reduced river flow is not only due to the increased diversion from these dams but also poor dam operation procedures.

The Komadugu-Yobe-Basin (KYB) Trust Fund was established as a partnership between the riparian states and the Federal Government to ensure that flows can reach the downstream users and that the aquifers in the downstream areas are recharged. Some of the steps the Trust Fund plans to take include developing dam operations procedures for the Tiga and Challawa Gorge Dams. This is aimed at maximizing the benefits of the river system for both human and nature, by controlling the unwanted dry season floods.

Finally, the National Water Law is yet to be enacted and whatever loopholes it contains, concerning the management of the waters of the KYB in an integrated manner, need to be investigated and addressed. Furthermore, there seems to be little or no attention paid to the management of groundwater, not the near surface aquifer, in the agreements reached in the Basin. The question that needs to be asked is how much impacts are the FADAMA tube wells, used for irrigation, having on the downstream flow of the river system?

Though the northeast Nigeria water situation has not reached the level of that in the southwest USA, it is necessary to borrow a leaf from what is happening there.


The Southwestern Water Wars
How Drought Is Producing Tensions in Texas
WIMBERLEY, Tex. — “WE don’t want you here,” warned the county commissioner, pointing an accusatory finger at the drilling company executives as 600 local residents rose to their feet. “We want you to leave Hays County.”
Normally, my small town is a placid place nestled in the Texas Hill Country, far from controversy, a peaceful hour’s drive west of Austin. Pop. 2,582, Wimberley was founded as a mill town on a creek. Today it’s part artist colony, part cowboy town known for its natural beauty and its cool, clear springs and rivers that wind through soaring cypress trees.
But these are not normal times. The suburbs of Austin close in every year. Recently, the suburb of Buda and developers enlisted a company from faraway Houston to drain part of the Trinity Aquifer, the source of the Hill Country’s water. An old-fashioned, Western-style water war has erupted.
Across Texas and the Southwest, the scene is repeated in the face of a triple threat: booming population, looming drought and the worsening effects of climate change.
And it is a story that has played out before. It was in the Southwest that complex human cultures in the United States first arose. Around A.D. 800, the people called the “Ancient Ones” — the Mimbres, Mogollon, Chaco and other Native American cultures — flourished in what was then a green, if not lush, region. They channeled water into fields and built cities on the mesas and into the cliffs, fashioning societies, rituals and art.
Then around 1200 they all disappeared. Or so the legend goes. In reality, these cultures were slowly and painfully extinguished. The rivers dried. The fields died. The cities were unsustainable as drought stretched from years to decades, becoming what scientists today call a megadrought. Parts of these cultures were absorbed by the Pueblo and Navajo people; parts were simply stamped out.
By the time the Spanish arrived in the 16th century, so had, finally, the rain. The American, German and Polish settlers who came to Texas in the 19th century found a rich landscape, flush with water. “I must say as to what I have seen of Texas,” wrote Davy Crockett, “it is the garden spot of the world.” And so it remained, punctuated by only two long droughts.
One, at the dawn of the 20th century, wreaked ecological havoc on the overgrazed Hill Country. The second stretched from the late 1940s to the late 1950s and is still known as the drought of record. When it released its grip, a new era of feverish dam and canal building ensued in Texas, just as it already had in much of the Southwest. A dearth of rainfall, after all, is a fact in the cycle of life here. Rains come when the equatorial current of El Niño appears, and they stay stubbornly away when its twin, La Niña, reverses the course. Those grand dams and canals seemed likely to suffice.
But again, these are not normal times. Arizonans are in their 10th year of drought, despite an uptick in rainfall during last year’s monsoon season because of a single storm on a single day. And while it has been a cool, damp winter here, the clear waters of the Blanco River still look low. Officially, more than half of Texas’ 269,000 square miles are plagued by drought. Conservatively, this would make for the fifth consecutive year of drought in Texas. Meanwhile, today, the average American uses 100 gallons of water a day.
So the race to engineer a new solution is underway, and Wimberley finds itself squarely in the path. The drilling here would rely on a few landowners, whose land is beyond any water conservation district. Exploiting this gap in the patchwork of Texas water laws, the Houston company would pump five million gallons a day out of the Trinity Aquifer to the Austin suburbs of Buda and Kyle.

International Year of Water Cooperation: World Water Day 2013

Water cooperation underpins the core of Integrated water Resources Management  principles – downstream-upstream user cooperation, cooperation between multi-sector actors in water, cooperation between water suppliers and water users, cooperation with government with respect to pollution control, etc. Even in the use of the waters of small streams or rivulets all micro riparians need to cooperate in order to avoid conflict.

The Komadugu-Yobe Basin exemplifies what is possible if all riparians in a basin cooperate. The flooding in the downstream part of R. Benue, downstream of Lagdo Dam, last year shows what happens when there are no meaningful cooperation in the management and utilization of the waters of an international drainage basin.



On 27 August 2012  at Stockholm A three-hour seminar to officially launch the UN International Year of Water Cooperation and World Water Day 2013 took place. It was indicated that all were warmly invited to attend! Furthermore, it was noted that The Netherlands will host the global event for World Water Day in 2013.

In December 2010, the United Nations General Assembly declared the year 2013 as the United Nations International Year of Water Cooperation following a proposal submitted by a group of countries, initiated by Tajikistan. Members of UN-Water agreed that World Water Day on 22 March 2013 should also be dedicated to the same theme. In August 2011, UN-WATER officially appointed UNESCO to lead preparations for both the International Year of Water Cooperation and World Water Day in 2013, in cooperation with UNECE and with the support of UNDESA, UNW-DPC and UNW-DPAC.

Water cooperation is multi-dimensional in nature and encapsulates cultural, educational and scientific factors, as well as religious, ethical, social, political, legal, institutional and economic dimensions. A multidisciplinary approach is essential in order to grasp an understanding of the many facets implied by the concept and blend them into one holistic vision. Moreover, for water cooperation to be successful and sustainable, it requires a common understanding of the needs and challenges surrounding the issue of water. As a result, 2013 being the International Year and World Water Day (22 March 2013) will focus predominantly on attempting to build a consensus around the adequate responses to such issues.

World Water Day 2013 and the International Year of Water Cooperation are great opportunities for the different organizations active in the water sector to promote actions at all levels on subjects related to water cooperation. It calls for a major effort to disseminate the key messages resulting from this global exercise and to involve stakeholders coming from different backgrounds and contexts.

Conversion of Typha Grass in to Charcoal: Lessons from Senegal and Gambia


Typha grass has apparently earned a bad name in the Komadugu-Yobe basin in Nigeria as could be seen in what Dr. A. I. Tanko wrote in the FMWR-IUCN-NCF Komadugu Yobe Basin Project Mid-Term Project Evaluation Report of 2007:  “There is an invasive spread of typha grass which, by now, has not shown any potential economic or social value. Its presence is causing tremendous drop in the potentials of agricultural land in the basin…

…It has also been found that floods are caused significantly due to the presence

of the typha grass, which also leads to lower water/river discharges in the

natural river courses.”

Steve Klaber’s comments  on this blog on How Yobe fights eco challenges as EU, FG end funding of NEAZDP,   https://weircentreforafrica.com/2012/04/16/how-yobe-fights-eco-challenges-as-eu-fg-end-funding-of-neazdp-2/,  on the other hand notes that “The Typha grass infestation is the driving force in these troubles. They are dessication machines and the silt that they generate clogs the stream and lake beds, so that the surface water and the underground water are out of supportive contact. When Typha grows in clean water and soil, it is an excellent food plant. But it will clean your waters for you, and collect any toxins in it. It is safer to make it into fuel, by any of several methods. If we weed and dredge Lake Chad and its tributaries, the lake will again replenish the ground water on which the Oases and boreholes depend, and will again generate the “lake effect” rains that are the main method of cooling the earth.”

Klaber’s optimistic conclusions about replenishment of Lake Chad through weeding and  dredging need to be subjected to scientific peer review.

However, the article below on the work of an environmental NGO shows that  typha grass has its economic uses as well as what Klaber describes as its other positive attributes.

The North East Arid Zone Development Programme (NEAZDP) should possibly review the article below and looks at what works in Senegal.

Typha grass – also known as Reed-mace, Cat-tail and Kachalla – is a problematic weed in some major African river systems. In The Gambia, the National Agricultural Research Institute has developed a simple pressing machine which can be used to convert the thick-stemmed grass into charcoal blocks. These are a very efficient source of fuel compared to normal charcoal, and making the blocks has now become a valuable employment opportunity for young people in the area in addition to saving the burning of trees.

A lot has been said about wood cutting being one of the factors responsible for desertification in the Sahel part of Nigeria which has even resulted in 11 states organizing a summit. It may be necessary for the eleven states to evaluate the success of the projects on economic use of typha grass in other Sahel countries in West Africa.

SENEGAL: Can “green charcoal” help save the trees?

 charcoal displays

Photo: Pierre Holtz

Charcoal is one of the most common household fuels across West Africa (file photo)

ROSS-BETHIO, 20 April 2009 (IRIN) – An environmental NGO in northern Senegal is about to go to market with “green charcoal” – a household fuel produced from agricultural waste materials to replace wood and charcoal in cooking stoves.

Given that Senegal’s trees are disappearing, finding viable alternatives is a must, a Ministry of Energy official says. At least half of Senegal’s 13 million people rely on wood and charcoal for household fuel, while 40 percent relying on petrol products like butane gas, the ministry says.

“You need to cut down 5kg of wood to produce only 1kg of [conventional] charcoal,” said Ibrahima Niang, alternative household energies specialist at the Energy Ministry.

“Less than 30 years ago, charcoal consumed in [the capital] Dakar came from 70km away, from the Thiès region. Now you have to go 400km from Dakar to find forests.”

According to Senegal’s Department of Water and Forestry, 40,000 hectares of forest are cut every year for fuel and other commercial uses.

Deforestation is said to exacerbate soil erosion – already a considerable problem in parts of Senegal. The country is part of the Sahel, a region where erratic rainfall, land degradation and desertification are constant challenges for a population largely dependent on agriculture and livestock.

The “green charcoal” is produced by compressing agricultural waste, like the invasive typha weed, into briquets and then carbonising them using a machine. The product has the look and feel of traditional charcoal and burns similarly.

“The technology is efficient, effective and economical because we can produce a substitute for charcoal at half the price,” Guy Reinaud, director of Pro Natura International, the French NGO that has partnered with the Senegalese government on the green charcoal project. The project is based in Ross-Bethio, a town 300km north of Dakar in the Saint-Louis region.

Environmental firms and governments have long been working to transform plants and natural waste materials into energy, such as water lilies in the Philippines.

Tough sell?

Despite the apparent advantages marketing the green charcoal in Senegal is a challenge, according to Mireille Ehemba, specialist in alternative household fuels at PERACOD, a Senegalese-German renewable energy initiative that is also a partner in the green charcoal project.

…Now you have to go 400km from Dakar to find forests…

“We have not been able to penetrate the charcoal market in urban areas. People are very attached to charcoal,” Ehemba told IRIN. “Much more [education] is needed, including cooking demonstrations that explain how this new fuel works, if we want people to make the switch.”

Not only buyers need to be convinced. Identifying distribution networks and responding to the needs of charcoal vendors are also major challenges, Ehemba said. For 1kg of green charcoal, a vendor receives 5 US cents, whereas conventional charcoal brings in almost 20 cents per kilogram.

“We must talk to producers to get them to increase the scale of their operation in order to increase the profit for vendors if this is to work.”


Senegalese consumers may be tempted to switch to the new product because it is cheaper than charcoal and butane gas. One kilogram of green charcoal sells for just 20 cents, whereas traditional charcoal currently costs three times that. A 6-kg bottle of butane gas costs about $5.

Fatou Camara, 40, from Ross-Bethio, has tested the new fuel when cooking for her family of 10. “I can use 1kg of green charcoal and that will cook the dinner. It is cheaper than normal charcoal.”

Camara told IRIN she used to use butane gas for cooking, but recurrent gas shortages pushed her to switch to green charcoal.

In the past, butane gas was heavily subsidised and promoted by the government as an alternative to charcoal. But such measures are no longer sustainable, according to the Energy Ministry’s Niang. The government plans to phase out butane subsidies in July.

PERACOD’s Ehemba is concerned the move will put more pressure on Senegal’s forests as poorer households return to traditional fuels like charcoal. “It is now very important that we propose alternatives like improved stoves and bio-charcoal so that people have affordable ways to cook cleanly,” she said.

ProNatura and the Senegalese government plan to turn the project into a profit-making venture called “Green Charcoal Senegal” that will produce up to 800 tons of the green fuel a year for sale in the Saint-Louis region.

ProNatura will soon start a project in Mali, transforming cotton stems into green charcoal, and plans similar projects in Niger, Madagascar, China, India and Brazil.

“It has global potential in terms of its adaptability to different local environments, and it uses local waste materials,” said Reinaud.

The Energy Ministry’s Niang said: “It is not possible to completely replace charcoal [in Senegal]. But even if we can replace 10 or 15 percent [of it] that is good. It will preserve the forests.”

How Yobe fights eco challenges as EU, FG end funding of NEAZDP

by Hamza Idris & Hamisu Kabiru Matazu, Damaturu

Daily Trust, Thursday, April 5 2012

It is no longer news that states in the far north eastern part of Nigeria, especially Yobe and Borno, are facing serious ecological challenges as a result of dwindling rainfall, a development which exposes the people, who are mostly farmers to great dangers.

This is manifested in perennial food shortages, occasioned by desert encroachment, sand dunes manifestation among other environmental challenges which have remained a source of concern to affected communities in the Sahel region.

Between 1968 and 1973, many northern states of Nigeria including Borno and Yobe suffered the Great Draught which affected food supply, a development which prompted the formation of many initiatives to surmount the threat.

In 1990, the European Union (EU), the federal government of Nigeria and the then Borno state government established the North East Arid Zone Development Programme (NEAZDP) with headquarters in Garin Alkali, Bade local government area of Yobe state.

The programme was aimed at promoting and assisting the rural populace in the proper use of their natural resources which covers an area of 22,860 sq km.

After recording significant progress in the areas of small irrigation packages, animal fattening programmes, small ruminant breeding, sand dunes fixation, shelterbelt, village protection, conservation of rain water at strategic places for livestock rearing and distribution of seedlings in the affected communities, the EU withdrew its support in 1995 and the federal government followed suit in 2006.

Before they left, the Mid Term Review Report of 1994 had rated NEAZDP activities as the most successful rural development programme in Nigeria while the ESPO Evaluation by the EU in 2006 equally revealed that NEAZDP was the only programme that had structures and sound extension system after the departure of its initiators. Though the EU and the FG had established a solid base for enduring development, their withdrawal had posed a great challenge towards the sustenance of the programme because only skeletal services were being offered. The use of skeletal services for the continuation of NEAZDP after the exit of EU and FGN leaves one to feel that there was no proper exit strategy.

It was indeed a terrible experience because shortly thereafter, the Yobe River’s recession began to hit hard on the riverine communities. This was coupled with typher grass manifestation and poor harvest of food and cash crops as a fall out of low rainfall.

However, in 2009, the Yobe state government reviewed the activities of NEAZDP and intervened, with a view to empowering the people by reclaiming the land that was devastated by ecological factors following the withdrawal of EU and FG.

Since then, the state government, in collaboration with affected local government areas (LGAs) have pumped in over N315 million.

Governor Ibrahim Gaidam, after considering the importance of NEAZDP in rural emancipation equally gave a standing order of continuous release of N9 million monthly to fund the programme.

During a recent visit by Kanem Trust, the programme manager of NEAZDP Dr Hussaini Hassan revealed under the present arrangement, N1 billion is being deducted from each of the nine local government areas of NEAZDP operation area for community impacting projects through partnership arrangement. “NEAZDP,  being  an integrated rural development projects has over the years utilized these fund to complement state government efforts in water supply, health, education, agriculture/food security and rehabilitation of programme headquarters’ infrastructures and procurement of monitoring/supervision vehicles/motorcycles to sustain the programme”. The manager said.

He said the agency has so far constructed 32 hand pumps, rehabilitate 93 hand pumps and 18 cement wells in various communities that have impacted positively in the provision of portable drinking water to over 71,500 people.

“We have also reclaimed lands  for flora and fauna (plants and animals) which have been taken away by deserts,” he said.

NEAZDP he revealed, has in the area of health installed Emex generator and hospital equipment to 18 centres for provision of light to female and theater wards as well as trained traditional birth attendants and village health workers and equipped them with practicing kits all with the aim of reducing infant and maternal mortality rate in the state,

In the education sector Dr Hussaini Hassan revealed that NEAZDP has rehabilitated 72 primary/junior secondary schools, supplied furniture to 27 schools and instructional materials to 27 schools, which according to him have provided good learning environment to over 3,200 pupils.

When Kanem Trust visited  some of the communities under the intervention of NEAZDP,  it was discovered that the agency has supported several vulnerable groups such as lepers, cripples and the blind with food items clothing etc to reduce street begging.

Dr Hassan said in the 2012 fiscal year, about 450 people, including widows and children would be taken care of.

He however said despite the intervention of NEAZDP, a lot needed to be done for the affected communities.

“This year, we have carried out a survey of about 20 villages that are being threatened by ecological challenges.  We have also identified some oasis and assessed the magnitude of the problems that require urgent attention.

“We have done a video documentary of the affected areas and have submitted it to the government for attention,” he said.

Mallam Musa Mohammed, a community leader in Garin Alkali said the intervention of NEAZDP has reduced poverty in the area through what he described as “Trade by Barter” arrangement.

“The agency gave us a package consisting of a cultivator, a ridger and ox-cart and then we were given N80, 000 to purchase two work bulls,” the community leader said.

He said after the harvest of the produce, the farmers paid back the loan in kind by taking 10 bags of millet annually for the period of three years at the cost of N4, 000 per bag.

“We feel this is a convenient poverty alleviation thing and many communities are now benefitting from the gesture,” he said.

So far, some of the LGAs that are benefiting from the project include: Bade (Gashua), Nguru, Karasuwa, Geidam, Machina, Yusufari and Yunusari.



 As shown in the above article the Daily Trust reporter laments the exit of the European Union (EU) and Federal government of Nigeria (FGN) from funding the North East Arid Zone Development Programme (NEAZDP). He notes that “Though the EU and the FG had established a solid base for enduring development, their withdrawal had posed a great challenge towards the sustenance of the programme because only skeletal services were being offered.”

 The use of skeletal services for the continuation of NEAZDP after the exit of the EU and FGN makes one feel that there was no proper exit strategy and that the issue of sustainability of the essentials of the programme was not properly dealt with.

  The Daily Trust reporter notes that shortly after the withdrawal of funding by the EU and FGN, Yobe River experienced a period of low flow as a result of the drought in the Sahel Savanna part of Nigeria. This low flow compounded the issue of food security in the Yobe Basin. The food security problem is further exacerbated by the spread of invasive Typha grass  that took over flood rice and cassava fields, blocking river channels, and undermining fisheries.

It should be noted that apart from drought, proper integrated water resources management was not practiced in the Komadugu-Yobe River Basin because there was no proper coordination of releases from the dams in the upstream part of this basin.

Governor Ibrahim Gaidam of Yobe State should be praised for finding alternative funding for the continuation of the programme.

communities that have impacted positively on the provision of potable drinking water to over 71,500 people.  These add up to 143 water points for about 72,000 people or a water point for about 500 people.

This is laudable as it satisfies what the National Water and Sanitation policy of January 2000 stipulates, i.e. Rural water supply guaranteed minimum level of service 30 liters per capita per day within 250 meters of the community of 150 to 5,000 people, serving about 250-500 persons per water point. …”




by Depo Adenle, Ph.D. (Hydrogeology)


[Being Lead Paper on Institutional Issues at the First National Water & Sanitation Forum, 29 August – 1st September, 2006.]

This was a Power Point Presentation changed to a word document without alterations to the content.

Since this paper was presented, there have been changes in the Water Supply and Sanitation Institutional Landscape.  For example, some of the departments in the Federal Ministry of Water Resources have become Agencies.  The Nigerian Integrated Management Commission was nonexistent, and there have been progress in reforming the Sector through the assistance of Donor Agencies.



Outline of Presentation:

•          Introduction – Background statement on WSS institutions (definitions), the linkages between WSS Stds. & economic development vis-à-vis MDGs.

•          Institutional Aspects in WSS in Nigeria.

•          Critical review of WSS institutional issues in relation to attainment of MDGs in Nigeria in terms of coverage, access, policy, framework and strategies

•          key institutional issues in WSS service delivery vis-à-vis attainment of the MDGs:

–        How do they affect coverage and access?

–        How are these institutional issues reflected/addressed in policies and policy reforms on WSS and in the institutional framework?

–        How are they reflected/addressed in strategies to improve WSS delivery & Attainment of MDGs? And

–        How are they considered in the requirements for the attainment of MDGs?

•          What are being done:  What initiatives are being taken by all actors.

•          What needs to be done : The Way forward

Background Statement (Institutions & MDGs):

•          Definition of institutionsWebster’s New World Collegiate Dictionary – organisations, working rules or establishments founded for a specific purpose of public interest based on an accepted custom, law or relationship in a society or community.

•          Laws upon which the governmental organisations are based – FG Laws or Decrees; State Laws/Edicts; LG Bye-Laws, etc.

•          Paper will therefore focus on organisations, their mandates as stipulated by laws or customs, etc.

•          WSS Linkages to economic development – Direct correlation between poor WSS Stds. & decline in indicators in health, education & productivity (low enrollment in schools, especially of girls, etc.); Hence link between poor WSS stds. and poverty.

•          MDG Goal 7 target: Reduce by half the proportion of people without access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation.

Institutional Aspects of WSS:

•          Three levels of govt. share responsibility for delivery of WSS services – Federal Govt.; State Govt.; Local Govt. + a fourth level – the community

•          Three levels of govt. are responsible for delivery of sanitation services – Federal, State and LG.

•          Among other issues the paper will focus on the following:

–        Which are the institutional issues that are essential to improving WSS service delivery with respect to coverage and access that need to be addressed, that need to be considered in WSS Policy, institutional framework and strategies for the attainment of MDGs?

–        What are the current policy issues on institutions in the FMWR’s NWSSP of 2000, the National Water Policy, the proposed National Water Sanitation Policy; FMENV’s National Environmental Sanitation Policy of 2005?

Review Of Current Institutional Issues In WSS:

•          General Issues

–        Lack of clear and coherent regulation –

–        Uncoordinated approach to water laws administration

•          Decree 101 and Minerals Act, Cap 226 FMWR minister and Solid Minerals minister have same power to issue water license, to remove hydraulic work, to impose license fee, pollution control, and to impose other fess & charges.

•          NIWA Decree 13 and Water Resources Decree 101 grants similar powers to NIWA and FMWR.

•          RBDA Act, Cap 396 at conflict with NIWA decree.

–        Laws inadequate – the flaws identified in the water laws.

•          Virtually all the laws on WR (Fed. & State ) are rule-oriented and fail to recognize the role of the private sector and communities as important stakeholders.

•          Present laws lack proper provisions & mechanisms of intersect oral coordination, tariff setting and conflict resolution.

•          Institutional responsibility not backed with enforceable authority – RBDAs/SWAs relationship

–        Accompanying Rules & Regulations (1997) for Water Resources Decree 101, 1993 outdated with respect to the current realities and not yet implementable;

•          Institutional constraints: Two types of institutional impediments stand in the way of expanding access to water supply and sanitation services Lenton, R. &Wright, A. (2004):

–        Lack of appropriate institutions at all levels, and

–        Chronic dysfunction of existing institutional arrangements. (At the community level, potential users of services are often constrained by the absence or underutilization of institutions to facilitate collective and/or individual action. At the national and sub-national level, sanitation often has no institutional ‘home’ at all, creating a policy vacuum and a corresponding lack of prioritization in budgetary decision-making).

–        RBDAs set up as development agencies not management agencies & are thus not managing WR within basins.

•          FMWR encroaching on the functions of RBDAs – Gurara Dams, borehole drilling; RBDAs engaging in bottled water business, real estate business, hospitability services, etc.

•          Lack of clear definitions of the functions and relationship of sector institutions –

•          Mandates of institutions as stipulated by laws and edicts that establish them create overlaps, etc;

–        Multiplicity of organisations and other bodies involved in WR sector which has led to a situation of conflicting mandates and responsibilities, giving rise to inefficient and ineffective water resources development and management.

•          Conflict created as a result of Water resources not managed on unit basin basis – e.g. the KYB case – conflict between downstream and upstream users.

•          Conflict between agencies – little cooperation between federal & federal agencies – FMWR and FMENV, and between federal and state agencies.

–        Involvement of the three tiers of govt. in rural water supply without collaboration results in weak coordination & inconsistent & conflicting mandates & responsibility.

–        Too many agencies claiming ownership for sanitation but not its responsibility (NWSSP of 2000).

–        Water supply and regulatory functions are often combined in a single institution. This is especially true of all RBDAs, as well as all SWAs.

–        Poor consultation and coordination – sectoral management of water and sanitation; duplication of schemes (small water supply schemes); Planning, development and management.

–        Lack of integration of WSS sector activities & initiatives – FMENV National Environmental Sanitation Policy/ FMWR draft National Water Sanitation Policy.

–        Over-centralization – WSS development and management not yet at the lowest possible appropriate level. (Examples worthy of studying/fine-tuning and replicating – UNICEF assisted and WaterAid programmes).

•          Widespread interference in affairs of water agencies – tariff setting, programme activities such as planning, prioritization of projects, etc. (Politics & its implications).

•          Shortage of qualified, honest & transparent manpower;

•          Lack of stakeholder participation –Schemes not demand driven; top down approach. Several boreholes drilled by FGN & at times by State governments not properly handed over to communities breakdown shortly after completion.

•          National Council on Water Resources – not functioning effectively – Meeting of the Tech. Committee too close to the annual meeting & not meeting as many times as may be necessary.

•          No role for women – There is an inadequate involvement of communities, especially women, in all aspects of project work, which has resulted in low community ownership and poor service sustainability

•          Lack of technical and managerial capacity in the WSS sector especially at the LG and community levels.

Specific sub-sector issues:

•          Urban WSS institutional  issues

•          Very low operational efficiency (UfW very high, up to 63% in 1998) due partly to unmotivated staff, highly politicized tariff setting and poor maintenance culture.

•          Weak commitment of state govts. to institutional reforms – David Henley (2000) “… Trained people go elsewhere where they can earn more; experienced managers get moved, system fails as soon as Bank finance dries up; …We find that promises made by Government  to improve operations and revenue generation are not and cannot be kept; … We find autonomy is given and taken away;…”

•          World Bank WSS Interim strategy Note of 2000 “ … there is the problem of agency responsibility for sanitation, poorly developed sanitation policies.”

•          SWA staff from GM down are civil servants and operate as such.

•          Lack of autonomy of water supply agencies; Edicts that established SWAs provide that they operate as autonomous entities, in practice they operate like govt. depts. closely integrated into the civil service. They depend on subvention.

•          Have a decentralized organizational structure down to district zonal offices, which is a positive development.

•          Usually overstaffed. Staff to customer ratio ~ 70, compared to the average best practice of 3.5 in efficient utilities.

•          There is poor definition and assignment of responsibilities for regulation and effective control of the various aspects of the water and sanitation business.

•          Lack of technical & financial capacity at SWAs to efficiently monitor distribution systems;

 Small Town WSS institutional Issues –

•          Responsibility for Small Town WSS lies with the three tiers of govt. – federal, state and local with overlapping & uncoordinated roles and functions.

•          Services introduced with little or no community participation.

•          No single policy enforced to coordinate & lend focus to the various efforts & inputs, although the FMWR-STWSSP is now addressing the issue.

•          Most of the institutional issues identified for urban utilities are also relevant.

•          Because the small towns have been largely ignored by SWAs WS has been virtually left to informal arrangements – tankers, privately-owned wells, and hand-carried water containers.

Rural WSS institutional issues –

•          World Bank WSS Interim strategy Note of 2000 – “Nigeria has a policy of requiring community ownership and operation of rural water supply and sanitation.” However, it is difficult to see this in practice.

•          “Uncoordinated, conflicting programs have been adopted by various agencies, not in line with the stated policy.

•          Many communities have been served by multiple programs, many served by none, and a majority of facilities that have been provided are not operational.”

•          Lack of technical & financial capacity at LGAs to efficiently monitor mini water schemes – boreholes, etc “Federal government with the collaboration of international agencies, especially UNICEF, is helping states to build capacity of state, local and community levels before moving the responsibility for rural water supply to the LGAs in accordance with national policy.”

•          The Activities of WaterAid also – partnering with NGOs in 2 states Bauchi and Plateau, but in Benue partnering with the State govt. .

•          Treatment of WSS institutional issues in policies, WSS institutional framework & strategies:

–        National Water Policy (2004)

–        National Water Supply and Sanitation Policy (2000)

–        National Water Sanitation Policy (Draft, 2003)

–        National Environmental Sanitation Policy (2005) National Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Programme: A Strategic Framework (2004).

National Water Policy:

–        It states with respect to capacity & manpower development that the policy aims at developing competence and skilled manpower, training of middle and lower manpower and strengthening of NWRI.

–        The institutional arrangement suggested similar to existing ones. The objectives of the institutional arrangement are aimed at addressing the above issues and are:

•          To ensure proper co-ordination and collaboration among stakeholders and harmonization of activities in water resources development management.

•          To ensure a multi-disciplinary and inter-sectoral approach to water resources development and management.

•          To define clearly the functions and responsibilities of each tier of governments and Institutions set up to implement various activities in the water resources sector.

–        National Water Supply and Sanitation Policy (2000):

–        Offers reform agenda for the WSS sector that will be developed based on the following guiding principles:

•          Autonomy of WSS services providers;

•          Management at the lowest appropriate level “appropriate being key and a function of the specific conditions in the concerned areas and communities”;

•          Participation – “… involvement of important segments of the society that have been traditionally excluded”.

•          Policy making and regulatory role of government – “… as a facilitator, setting macroeconomic and sector policies that create an enabling environment. …precludes its intervention in the actual delivery of services, Which are more efficiently accomplished by autonomous entities,”

–        It defines institutional responsibilities of the FMWR,RBDAs, NWRI, SWAs and LGs and describes inter agency relationship.

–        National Water Sanitation Policy (Draft, 2003):

–        Provides an institutional framework for sanitation which gives a list of all institutions that should be involved at all levels with the FMWR & states MWR taking the lead in sanitation.

–        The creation of a sanitation division in the WS&QC Department of the FMWR and a water sanitation division in the department of water supply at state ministries.

–        National Environmental Sanitation Policy (NESP, 2005);

–        Institutional arrangements –  Technical Committees at all levels – National Technical Committees, State Technical Committees, and Local Government Technical Committees.

–        National level TC includes FMWR, Health and other relevant Ministries; same for the state TCs and LG TCs.

–        It defines the institutional roles of the members of the technical committees; E.G. The FMWR is responsible for 2 things:

•          Collaborate with FMENV on water sanitation activities including sewerage, storm water control and quality control of water supply;

•          Ensure access to adequate potable water supply for all Nigerians.

What Are Being Done

•          Initiatives towards addressing WSS institutional issues necessary for the attainment of MDGs:

•          Governments

–        Federal level – NEEDS

–        State Level – SEEDS

•          ESAs

•          World Bank:

–        Through the FMWR PMO – Assistance in:

•          Broad sector reform – to finalize policy & completion of institutional reform

•           urban water supply sector reform

•          Review of WSSP review

•          Regulation – estb. Of regulatory agency at the state level

•          Capacity development framework through the help of NWRI

•          African Development Bank (AfDB)

–        Several involvements in WSS.

–        Study on rural water supply & sanitation.

•          EU assistance:

–        PMU (Federal level), STU (State level)

–        DFID-JWL program in KYB Basin

–        Institutional reforms & IWRM in the KYB basin;

–        Promotion of new institutional arrangements that will encourage & ensure good water governance in line with IWRM;

•          Estb. of State IWRM committees to facilitate consultation & awareness raising; encouragement of NGOs & CBOs involvement

•          DFID – working through UNICEF & WaterAid

•          UNICEFs’ Assistance: 

–        Preparation of the National RWSS Programme Strategic Framework.

–        Involvement in capacity building though WATSANs

•          WaterAid – Develops the capacity of local partner organisations to implement water, sanitation & hygiene projects. For sustainability of its projects its partners train & supports local communities to plan, construct, manage and maintain their own projects (WaterAid Corporate Strategy 2005 –2010).

•          UN-Habitat WAC programme – WAC II Jos Programme, Nigeria –aims to develop a pro-poor WSS intervention through piloting & demonstration of activities of WAC so as to accelerate meeting the MDGs for WSS.

The Way Forward

•          Government should:

•          Adopt IWRM principles in all WR programmes.

•          Review available institutional structures and develop one that helps in minimizing fragmentation & overlap of functions between different institutions and (This will involve a careful consideration of the laws/statutes/decrees, etc. that establish these institutions). Complex institutional arrangements will not improve institutional performance. Instead, institutions have to be fully authorized and their formal position should be compatible with assigned responsibilities.

•          Provide the existing regulatory systems and coordination structures with the authority and appropriate resources they lack.

•          Create appropriate institutions at all levels. e.g. for proper management of river basins – River Basin Management Committee.

•          All water and sanitation projects should have capacity building component.

•          All water and sanitation agencies should have budgetary provisions for human resources development.

•          When allocating resources to national-level initiatives or decentralizing water supply and sanitation services delivery to local authorities, ensure that funds for both infrastructure and capacity building (e.g., for planning, operation, and maintenance) are provided in one package.

•          Fund NWRI and other related institutions to operate extension services with respect to carrying out refresher training at the state and LG levels.

•          Develop courses that are suited to the training needs of the local governments and communities.

•          Take measures to increase accountability of service providers to consumers, such as the reform of civil-service legislation and limiting political interference in planning, construction, and O&M.

•          Establish and provide resources for credible regulatory institutions.

•          Establish minimum national standards for water and sanitation services that focus on end goals (e.g., safe removal of excreta) rather than on specific technologies.

•          Create a national-level and state-level “institutional home” for the issue of sanitation, be it the FMWR or FMENV. This sanitation institution should set national standards, support implementing bodies, and hold local governments accountable for results. It should also create a national-level plan to guide policy-making and goal-setting for sanitation. (It may be necessary to hold an inter-ministerial summit between FMWR and FMENV, facilitated by an international expert that will once and for all assigning a home to sanitation  

•          Engage WaterAid as a partner on a nationwide basis where WATSAN is absent to assist in capacity development at local government and community levels.

•          Develop drinking water quality standards.

•          Put in place drinking water quality and surveillance policy guidelines, develop the capacity of the relevant government institutions to establish an effective water quality surveillance programme and implement the guidelines. The establishment of an effective water quality and surveillance programme especially at the community level could be the type of innovative action recommended by Wright (2005) in order to fast track attainment of MDGs’ water and sanitation target in Nigeria.

•          Address any gender biases within their institutions.

•          Service providers (SWAs etc). Should:

•          Improve pay scales and incentive structures to attract and retain qualified technical and managerial staff.

•          Restructure professional incentives to reward good performance in operations and maintenance, as well as service extensions to low-income communities.

•          Involve both women and men in water supply and sanitation services provision and integrated water resources management initiatives.

•          Restructure professional incentives to reward good performance in operations and maintenance, as well as service extensions to low-income communities.

•          Civic organizations such as schools, local NGOs, and community associations should:

•          Partner with service providers in projects to provide or improve services to poor communities.

•          Participate in public meetings, hearings, and other events related to public-service delivery to advocate for policies and programs that will improve water supply and sanitation services to the poor.

•          Include hygiene education in school curricula.

•          Use the issue of water supply and sanitation services as an entry point for promoting women’s empowerment. Promote women’s involvement in community management of water supplies.