Can Geospatial Technology Aid in Solving Water Access Issues in the Developing World? A Review of Abuja, Nigeria.
In most developing countries especially in Africa, physical and anthropogenic activities, as well as population growth and climate change have caused pressures on basic infrastructures such as potable water supply. The rapid increase in migration and population growth threatens these infrastructures which reinforces the poverty cycle and undercuts economic growth. Abuja as the capital of Nigeria is one of the fastest growing cities in Africa and is faced with these challenges. However, limited statistical data about water and sanitation provides little information about the spatial distribution of water access in Abuja communities. Over the years, conventional methods of obtaining data have been complex and labour intensive. With the advent of Geospatial technology, spatial deliveries of numerical data and maps have supported the search for other relevant data, as well as improved data management. This paper aims to highlight the importance of adopting Geospatial technology for potable water access and management. Data was generated through household questionnaire survey tool administered to 200 residents of four (4) Peri-Urban areas of Abuja. The findings indicated that most residents rely on borehole water supply as their source of potable water supply. Overall, most people chose the quality of water over the cost of accessing water. In conclusion, the study discovered that despite water availability, access to a reliable source remained a challenge, especially as most residents relied on vendors for water supply. Hence, the need to embrace Geospatial technology is essential for its usefulness in national development and economic development.
Keywords - Geospatial Technology, GIS, Water Resource Management, Potable Water Supply, Water Access