CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Water is an indispensible substance to man and all life processes; it is the essence of life, without which human beings cannot live for more than a few days (Eletta and Oyeyipo, 2008). It plays a vital role in nearly every function of the body, protecting the immune system, the body’s natural defenses and helping to remove waste matter. It is essential in maintaining and sustaining human, animal and plant life (Patil and Patil, 2010). Undoubtedly, water represents a unique and significant feature in any settlement: for drinking, sanitation, washing, planting, fishing, recreation, industrial process, etc. Succinctly, water is greatly important and is in great demand in all sectors of human endeavour and in every human settlement (Aderogba, 2005).
Water that is easily available and affordable is a prerequisite to good hygiene, sanitation and is central to the general welfare of all living things (UN, 2008). It is a prerequisite for all socio-economic development and for maintaining healthy ecological systems. Water is of great importance for domestic, industrial, agricultural, religious and recreational uses (Folorunsho, 2010); hence, it is very critical for the socio-economic survival of the human race without which life as it exists on our planet is impossible (Asthana and Asthana, 2001).
According to Cummingham, Cummingham and Siago (2003) and Duggal (2004), of all the elements essential for the existence, survival and sustenance of human beings and animals, water is rated as the greatest. Water plays a vital role in the development of a stable community, since human beings can exist for days without food but absence of water for a few days may lead to death. Water is an essential pre-requisite for the establishment of a stable community. In the absence of which nomadic lifestyle becomes necessary and communities move from one area to another as demand for water exceed its availability.
Globally, the demand for water for agricultural, industrial, domestic and other purposes will continue to increase with increasing world population as a contributory factor, such that an estimated additional 5,600km3/year of water may be required to cope with population growth and nutrition in 2050 (Rockstrom, 2002). Similarly, the global water situation is so precarious that without immediate action, it is estimated that by 2025, two-thirds of the world population will have difficulty surviving in water stressed areas (Mendidia Exclusive, 2008).
The need for clean water for drinking, cooking, bathing and other household needs had long been recognized. It is estimated that over one billion people still lack safe domestic water supplies, while 2.4 billion lack adequate sanitation (Meinzen-Dick and Rosegrant, 2001). The resulting human toll is roughly 3.3 billion cases of illness and 2 million deaths per year. Moreover, even as the world‟s population grows, the limited easily accessible freshwater resources in rivers, lakes and groundwater aquifers are dwindling as a result of over-exploitation and water quality degradation (IAEA, 2004). This statistics, no doubt holds true mostly in the developing economies of Asia, Latin America and Africa, where poverty has assumed an endemic root. Understanding water risk in developing countries implies coming to terms with issues of unsafe drinking water and scarcity, which varies in time and space, water related threats, as well as quality and quantity issues (Emmanuel and Ekanem, 2009).
QUALITY OF RAINWATER HARVESTED IN CISTERNS IN ONICHA UGBO, ANIOCHA-NORTH LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF DELTA STATE, NIGERIA