Dr. Nwankwoala H.O.
Water is essential for life and for most activities of human society. Both economic and social development and the maintenance of human health are completely dependent upon ready access to adequate water supplies. All societies require water both for basic survival and for economic development. Limited and inadequate access to water supply for productive uses such as livestock watering, crop irrigation, and small scale industries, constraints households and communities in a condition of vulnerability and poverty. Lack of access to safe domestic, and indeed to significant quantities of water for other productive uses defines and contributes to poverty. Provision of and access to safe domestic water for productive uses will contribute to the Millennium Development target of halving the proportion of people without access to safe and sustainable water supplies by 2015, in addition to contributing significantly to incomes and livelihoods. Groundwater resources thus offer major development of communities. Great socio-economic benefits have been generated by highquality, relatively low-cost, drought-resilient groundwater supplies for urban expansion, industrial enterprises and agricultural irrigation and with rising population and continuing development in Nigeria, demand for groundwater is still increasing. This paper, therefore opines that it is not simply a matter of having a low or irregular income, but of lacking a wider set of assets – human, social, physical, natural as well as financial and being vulnerable to changes which the less-poor can readily survive. This paper therefore aims at promoting water poverty to water prosperity, outlining and exploring the opportunities and role of groundwater in the reduction of chronic poverty, economic sustainability as well as draws out conclusion for the way forward in Nigeria. The contribution of groundwater to the enhancement of livelihood and in the fight to combat poverty, reduce vulnerability and improve chances of survival is advocated. Overall, groundwater is and will be a reliable water resource for human development for solving water supply issues, improvement in human health conditions and alleviation of poverty.
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