Nigeria, the world's eighth most populous country, has begun grappling with issues of water scarcity across a number of its states - forcing infrastructure and long-term sustainability questions.
The question of population density and long-term sustainability is becoming more starkly realized in oil-rich Nigeria, as water scarcity continues to present itself among Nigerian numerous states. In a report issued by AllAfrica.com, Nasarawa, Keffi, and Lafia are now receiving freshwater from water boards less frequently - and these states are being forced to tap alternative wells and to buy water from other sources.
Executive Director of the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF), Professor Emmanuel Obot projected significant water scarcity for Nigeria by 2020 and cited climate and rainfall patterns, according to a late November report by the Daily Trust.
The water scarcity issue is considerably daunting, given the fact that Nigeria represents the eighth most populous nation in the world - with a total population of over 152 million people. And among the 152 million who reside in Nigeria, less than 30 percent - according to a 2002 Daily Trust report cited on the IRC International Water and Sanitation web site - have access to adequate drinking water.
Earlier this year, the Nigerian government sought to tackle the nation's water sanitation issue, seeking to ban latrines and select fuel stations in an increasingly desperate move to prevent runoff, according to MediaGlobal.
However, Reverend Babatunde Olusegun of the Christian Council of Nigeria told MediaGlobal “As the world is taking concrete efforts at meeting the United Nations goals of safe water and sanitation by the year 2015, Nigeria is yet to commence any action towards realizing these goals."
Nigeria is an oil producing nation, endowed with an estimated 37.2 billion barrels of oil reserves, according to the US Energy Information Administration. And yet 70 percent of the Nigerian nation struggle with inadequate freshwater supplies.
Nigeria's population growth challenge is considerable, and its impact on water scarcity is driving the nation to come to terms with its overall sustainability. There is a glimmer of hope, as Nigerian population growth is showing nominal signs of slowing down. Citing the CIA World Factbook in a graphic posted on Indexmundi.com, Nigeria's population is estimated to grow by 1.97% in 2010 - down from a growth rate of 2% in 2009 and 2.03% in 2008.