Impacts of Sustained Public Education and Improvised Source Protection on Sustainable Water Resources in The Developing World

Impacts of Sustained Public Education and Improvised Source Protection on Sustainable Water Resources in The Developing World

Yunus D. Salami

Department of Civil Engineering, LeTourneau University, Longview, TX

9 September 2019
| Citation



To increase the united Nation’s chance of achieving its Sustainable Development goal of providing clean water and sanitation especially in the developing world, a new approach that combines sustainable water resources management with mass reorientation of rural populations must become a priority. This is important considering the increasing global water stress faced by humans and the occasional knowledge gap in demand management and conservation between developed and developing regions where the majority live in rural areas. Contemporary endeavours often focus on providing technology and introducing practices that improve or preserve water quality and quantity. But some of these efforts suffer either from a failure to correctly interface with existing local practices or an inability to adequately address the local knowledge gap. This study addressed this problem by combining location-specific public enlightenment with access to source protection, storage, and treatment technologies.

The study area consists of rural settlements in the central region of Nigeria. Datasets used include population statistics, source types (surface water, groundwater, tap water, etc.), demand and availability, water stress levels, quality and quantity enhancement technology, and access to water education (radio, local health official, etc.). Results showed that communities that received properly instituted water quality/quantity enhancement technologies with little to no orientation (or vice versa) experienced inconsistent improvements in water sufficiency across the tested populations and some stagnation afterwards. But in communities that benefitted from continuous sustainability orientation as well as a careful interfacing of water quality/quantity enhancement and protection technologies, dramatic improvements in water sufficiency resulted. In addition to socioeconomic and environmental benefits, insights gained from this study have potential applications in planning/policy-making by stakeholders in similar developing regions in central america and Southeast asia.


Africa water scarcity, drinking water stress, sustainable development goals SDGs, water education, water sustainability


[1] ICSU, Sustainable Development Goals and targets. International Council for Science, 2015.

[2] Hutton, G. & Chase, C., The knowledge base for achieving the sustainable development goal targets on water supply, sanitation and hygiene. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 13(6), 2016.

[3] WHO, Safely managed drinking water, 2017.

[4] Sobsey, M.D., Stauber, C.E., Casanova, L.M., Brown, J.M. & Elliott, M.A., Point of use household drinking water filtration: A practical, effective solution for providing sustained access to safe drinking water in the developing world. Environmental Science & Technology, 42(12), 2008.

[5] Gleick, P.H., Access to safe drinking water by Country, 1970–2008. In The World’s Water Volume 7: The Biennial Report on Freshwater Resources, 2011.

[6] Hoff, H., Global water resources and their management. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 2009.

[7] WHO and UNICEF, Progress on Drinking Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, 2017.

[8] Fleck, F., Poor countries lag behind on water goals. BMJ: British Medical Journal, 328(7446), 2004.

[9] Ademiluyi, I.A. & Odugbesan, J.A., Sustainability and impact of community water supply and sanitation programmes in Nigeria : An overview. African Journal of Agricultural Research, 3(12), pp. 811–817, 2008.

[10] Gadgil, A., Drinking water in developing countries. Annual Review of Energy and the Environment, 23(1), pp. 253–286, 2011.

[11] Muller, O. & Krawinkel, M., Malnutrition and health in developing countries. Canadian Medical Association of Journal, 173(3), 2005.

[12] Bain, R.E., Gundry, S.W., Wright, J.A., Yang, H., Pedley, S. & Bartram, J.K., ­Accounting for water quality in monitoring access to safe drinking-water as part of the ­Millennium Development Goals: lessons from five countries. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, p. 90, 2012.

[13] UN-Water, Gobal analysis and assessment of sanitation and drinking-water (GLAAS) 2017 report: financing universal water, sanitation and hygiene under the sustainable development goals. 2017.

[14] Moe, C.L. & Rheingans, R.D., Global challenges in water, sanitation and health. Journal of Water and Health, 4(S1), pp. 41–57, 2006.

[15] Carter, R.C., Tyrrel, S.F. & Howsam, P., The impact and sustainability of community water supply and sanitation programmes in developing countries. Water and Environment Journal, 13(4), pp. 292–296, 1999.

[16] Carter, R.C., Can and should sanitation and hygiene programmes be expected to achieve health impacts? Waterlines, 36(1), pp. 92–103, 2017.

[17] Cohen, B., Urbanization in developing countries: Current trends, future projections, and key challenges for sustainability. Technology in Society, 28(1–2), pp. 63–80, 2006.

[18] UN DESA, 68% of the world population projected to live in urban areas by 2050, says UN. Webpage News, 2018.

[19] Salami, Y.D. & Nnadi, F.N., Reservoir storage variations from hydrological mass balance and satellite radar altimetry. International Journal of Water Resources and Environmental Engineering, 4(6), pp. 201–207, 2012.

[20] Salami, Y.D., Quantification and Multi-purpose Allocation of Water Resources in a Dual-reservoir System. In American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting, p. H23J–1813, 2017.

[21] Cronk, R. & Bartram, J., Factors influencing water system functionality in Nigeria and Tanzania: A regression and bayesian network analysis. Environmental Science & Technology, 51(19), pp. 11336–11345, 2017.

[22] Nduka, J.K. & Orisakwe, O.E., Water-quality issues in the Niger Delta of Nigeria: A look at heavy metal levels and some physicochemical properties. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 18(2), pp. 237–246, 2011.

[23] Emenike, C.P., Tenebe, I.T., Omole, D.O., Ngene, B.U., Oniemayin, B.I., Maxwell, O. & Onoka, B.I., Accessing safe drinking water in sub-Saharan Africa: Issues and challenges in South–West Nigeria. Sustainable Cities and Society, pp. 263–272, 2017.

[24] Vairavamoorthy, K., Gorantiwar, S.D. & Pathirana, A., Managing urban water supplies in developing countries—Climate change and water scarcity scenarios. Physics and Chemistry of the Earth, Parts A/B/C, 33(5), pp. 330–339, 2008.

[25] Paul, B.D., The role of beliefs and customs in sanitation programs. American Journal of Public Health and the Nations Health, 48(11), 1958.

[26] Wasonga, J., Okowa, M. & Kioli, F., Sociocultural determinants to adoption of safe water, sanitation, and hygiene practices in Nyakach, Kisumu County, Kenya: A ­descriptive qualitative study. The Journal of Anthropology, 2016.

[27] WHO, pH in drinking-water. Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality, 1,1996.

[28] WHO, WHO guidelines for drinking-water quality, 4th edn. 2011.