Received Date: November 08, 2013; Accepted Date: December 09, 2013; Published Date: January 31, 2014
Citation: Nkwede JO, Samuel NA (2014) World Bank Assisted Community Development Programme: A Study of Rural Areas in Ebonyi State, Nigeria. J Pol Sci Pub Aff 2:110. doi:10.4172/2332-0761.1000110
Copyright: © 2014 Nkwede JO, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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This study x-rayed the World Bank intervention in rural water supply in Nigeria through Community and Social Development Agency of Ebonyi State. The objective of the study is to assess the impact of CSDP micro water projects on socio economic wellbeing of the rural settlers in Ebonyi State, identify the factors affecting the implementation of CSDP water projects in rural communities of Ebonyi State and to identify possible ways of sustaining CSDP water projects in Ebonyi State. Survey methods were adopted to elicit data for this study. The study revealed inter-alia that CSDP water infrastructure has not improved the socio-economic conditions of rural dwellers in Ebonyi state. The study recommends among other things that a pre-intervention survey be carried out with a view to determining the base line of infrastructures in the rural communities before actual programmes are implemented, community members should be involved in the execution and evaluation of quality and quantity of work done at all levels and periodic evaluation should not be left in the hands of community programme monitoring committee but should involve CSDP officials and community members in a community general meeting .Implication of this findings for both the rural dwellers and government officials is that it is only full implementation of World Bank intervention programmes that can bring about the attainment of all round development and consequently lead to socio-economic transformation of the rural populace.
World bank; Rural development; Rural infrastructure; Water supply; Nigeria
Background to the study
Ebonyi State was created on October 1, 1996 by Gen. Sani Abacha administration to mark the nation’s 36th independence anniversary. The state lies between 7º3`N longitude, 5º4`E with a land mass approximated at 5,932 Square kilometers . It has boundaries in the North with Benue; East with Cross river, South with Abia state and west with Enugu State. The population of Ebonyi State going by the 2006 population census is put at 3million people. These people lie in the thirteen (13) local government areas of the state. The people of Ebonyi are mainly agrarian, hardworking, honest and industrious. Similarly endowed with rich cultural heritage, the people have peacefully and harmoniously coexisted for ages, justifying their socio cultural congruency and ancestral commonality. However, despite this abundant human resource endowment to the state, its people are still been classified as a poor state in areas of infrastructures.
The creation of Ebonyi State, with Abakaliki as its capital was therefore not only a liberation and manipulation but also giving the people their own destiny in their hands. The transition programmes of Gen. Abdusalam Abubakar’s short military regime in 1999, coupled with Obasanjo’s Administration resolve and readiness to implement World Bank Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) using the frame work of National Economic Empowerment Development Strategy (NEEDS), made the World Bank to stage a third come back. Though  notes that Nigeria has been romancing with the World Bank prior to Nigeria’s independence in 1960. The essence of the strategy was to enable the Bank to focus on community empowerment and local level development as key elements of its overall strategy for poverty reduction. The local empowerment pillar of NEEDS, State Economic Empowerment Development Strategy (SEEDS) and Local Economic Empowerment Development Strategy (LEEDS) and the Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) identified the Community Driven Development (CDD) approach as a vehicle for financing social infrastructure across the country and for community participation in achieving Millennium Development Goals (MDG’s) . It was envisaged that this interventions would include activities to enhance the voice of communities and their participation in resource allocation, decision making, as well as service planning at local level.
As part of the 2005-2007 country partnership strategy, the Federal government of Nigeria and World Bank agreed to harmonize World Bank funded (CDD) project in Nigeria to ensure that resources are effectively and efficiently targeted in reducing poverty levels in the country. To this end, the Local empowerment and Environment Management Project (LEEMP) and Community Based Poverty Reduction Project (CPRP) were merged to form Community Social Development Project (CSDP). Consequently, Ebonyi state was chosen as one of the benefiting state in Nigeria.
In an attempt to ensure the effective implementation of the mandate of the World Bank assisted community development programme in Ebonyi State, Ebonyi State Community Development Agency, EBCSDA was established to take the full responsibility of implementing the Community Social Development Projects in the state following the passage of Ebonyi State law No. 004 of 2009. However, the project implementation started on April 1st 2009. The agency’s intervention in rural communities in Ebonyi State has over the years been providing rural settlers with infrastructures such as skill acquisition, processing machine, roads, rural water supply scheme, housing, electricity, building of model communities, access to quality education, improved health care delivery among others but the likely effect of these changes on the social economic status of the rural communities are yet to be ascertained. It is against this backdrop that this study intends to evaluate the impact of CSDA in the area of rural infrastructure in Ebonyi State.
Statement of the problem
More often than not, there are jingles over the social media by EB-SDA, the agency responsible for the implementation of CSDP intervention in rural communities in Ebonyi State on their exploit in delivering their mandate to the people. In March, 2012, the World Bank had approved over 130 International Bank for Reconstruction and Development loans (IBRD) and International Development Association (IDA) credit to Nigeria for a total amount of more than $13.16million (https://go.worldbank.org/g/967k75d). Again, in Ebonyi state, a total of 66 micro-projects have been completed in various communities by EB-CDA at the cost of N323, 069,990.50 and 54 on going micro-projects estimated to cost about N324, 868138.70. Upon this huge investment in infrastructure provision, there is continued hue and cry by the rural dwellers of the absence of social infrastructures. Preliminary investigations revealed that majority of the rural communities in Ebonyi State rely solely on self-water supply (free source) such as rivers, perennial streams, water ponds and unprotected wells for domestic purposes thus exposing them to Dracunculiasis or dracontiasis otherwise known as Guinea worm disease which according to Nweke  affects people living in rural areas where safe water supply is lacking or scarcely available. A Study of Enyigba town in Ebonyi State by Emewu  revealed that:
Enyigba is dry like the bones Ezekiel saw, there is poverty, dejection and helplessness inscribed all over the terrain. The houses look awful. The residents looked rusty and decrepit at the mercy of the harmattan gale that blew over the land without mercy. The children looked like they were rolled in dust, with all manner of pieces of cloths hanging loose on their shoulders. The elders were few with sparse settlement not helping matters but the slim population holding notwithstanding, the common thing in this town is acute scarcity of water With the above sympathetic scenario, one begins to wonder, what impact is the CSDP rural water infrastructure to the socio economic condition of the rural people in Ebonyi state? This creates the Lacuna which this present study has come to fill.
This study sets out to verify if water infrastructure of World Bank assisted CSDP have improved the Socio-economic status of rural settlers in Ebonyi State, Nigeria. The specific objectives of this study are
• To assess the impact of CSDP water micro project on the social economic wellbeing of the rural settlers in Ebonyi state
• To determine the factors affecting the implementation of CSDP water projects in rural communities of Ebonyi State
• To identify possible ways of sustaining CSDP water projects in rural communities of Ebonyi state.
• What are the impacts of CSDP rural water supply on the socioeconomic wellbeing of the rural settlers in Ebonyi State?
• What are the Factors affecting the implementation of CSDP water projects in rural communities of Ebonyi state?
• How can the CSDP water projects in rural communities of Ebonyi state be sustained?
The following hypotheses were formulated:
Hi: Availability of rural water infrastructure improved the socioeconomic wellbeing of the rural populace in Ebonyi state.
Ho: Availability of rural water infrastructure does not improve the socio-economic well-being of the rural populace in Ebonyi State.
Hi: Rural people participation enhanced the smooth implementation of CSDP water projects in rural communities of Ebonyi state
Ho: Rural people participation does not enhance the smooth implementation of CSDP water projects in rural communities of Ebonyi state.
Hi: Sustained CSDP water projects enhanced the quality of life in rural communities of Ebonyi State.
Ho: Sustained CSDP water projects do not enhance the quality of life in rural communities of Ebonyi state.
The theory used to explain the intervention of World Bank in rural development in Nigeria is the Modernization theory.
The modernization is an economic theory that is rooted in capitalism. There are many proponents of modernization theory, such as Walter Rostow, W.A Lewis, Talcott Parson and Daniel Lerner, they all felt that the rest of the World needed to look unto the western model of modernity and pattern their society like the west in order to progress.
Modernist believe that the internal factors in rural areas such as illiteracy, traditional agrarian structure, traditional attitude of the rural dwellers, the low division of labour, lack of communication and infrastructure, lack of ambition and so on are responsible for their underdevelopment. The Nigeria rural areas is characterized by the absence or poor social infrastructure like roads, electricity, absence or inadequate health facilities, few medical personnel, over-reliance on traditional farming technique, absence of industries which makes it traditional/ underdeveloped society. The concept of modernization incorporates the full spectrum of transition and drastic transformation that a tradition society (rural areas) has to undergo in order to become modern . The development of rural societies is measured by the extent to which there is improvement in the standard of living of the rural dwellers in terms of improvement of the quality of available infrastructures and modern facilities/equipment’s. From the foregoing, the major assumption of modernization could be used to explain the intervention assistance of World Bank in rural development programmes in Nigeria.
Significance of the study
Similar studies in Nigeria on World Bank assisted Community Social Development Programme have always focused on the issues affecting major cities and megacities without a corresponding study in rural areas in Nigeria, this paper has the merit of ascertaining the impact of CSDP water micro project on the social economic wellbeing of the rural settlers and also to determine the factors affecting the implementation of CSDP water projects in rural communities of Ebonyi State. This insight would reveal the contributions of Community Driven Development (CDD) approach to rural development thus serving as a thermometer to be used by rural development agencies (governmental and non-governmental) on designing future programmes. It will also server as a reference point for researchers.
The word “rural” means different thing to different people as such has turned out to be a subject of different interpretation, because of the complexities involved in pinning down an acceptable definition. The word “rural” according to Ogunna  could assume economic, sociological, ethnic and racial connotations. Accordingly, the American Bureau of Census classifies a group of people living in a community having a population of not more than 2,500 people as rural. Ogunna  asserts that a rural area can be described as a geographical location or area inhabited by a population of less than 5,000 people, majority of whom are farmers and whose economy is predominantly agrarian in nature. Rural Nigeria is measured by a spatial index indicating the percentage of population living in the rural areas and by an occupational index showing the percentage of the labour force in Agricultural occupation.
Generally speaking, 78% of Nigerian poor; those living on an income less than a dollar a day live in rural areas under a sympathetic condition despite the fact that they occupy significant position in the advancement of the nation and society at large. At best, governments have always paid lip service to their development needs with little or no real action to substantiate their commitment. Though the allocation of funding to Agriculture and rural development proposed in the official paper the federal govt. budget for 2006 was set at N30.8 billion (U $240 million) equivalents to two percent of the government recurrent and capital budget allocations. In 2007, the corresponding allocation was reported to be N38billion (US$304 million) representing four percent of the total government expenditure. However, despite the increase in allocation, there was considerable disquiet in the rural communities about the actual expenditures and their effectiveness. The rural communities in a survey published by the federal ministry of water resources indicates that only 9% of respondents in rural areas have access to treated water, with respect to rural roads, it is estimated that about 70% of the road network in Nigeria is in poor condition and that the road density is one of the lowest in sub-Saharan Africa. At present, the rural roads network which is estimated at 200,000km. More than 90,000km of feeder and access roads were constructed during the eighties all of which are now virtually lost due to lack of maintenance. World Bank report  revealed that only 43% of rural populations in Nigeria have access to improved water source. Access to safe water supply has great influence on the health, economic productivity and quality of life of the people, little wonder the United nations assembly recognized the right of every human being to have access to sufficient water for personal and domestic uses (between 50 and 100 litres of water per person per day), which must be safe, acceptable and affordable (water costs should not exceed 3 per cent of household income), and physically accessible (the water source has to be within 1,000 metres of the home and collection time should not exceed 30 minutes). In an attempt to redress these undesirable conditions, communities have attempted to advance their well-being through self-help projects aimed at self-improvements which Chikelezie  viewed as the last resort for the survival of rural people arising from government neglect.
It should be noted that the efficiency with which the gains of rural development programme can be sustained is to involve the people adequately because according to Fung , empowered participation of community members in programmes that address their felt need is the key to successful rural development. The impact of citizens participation was buttressed in a Scottish study by Ellaway and Mucintyre  who observed that areas with higher levels of participation were also areas that had better amenities and more pleasant, non-threatening environment, this view attempts to relate participation to successful outcomes of rural development efforts. It is of course, such involvement that gives the people the pride of ownership of the programme or project executed in the process of community development, hence Obot  suggests that rural development achievement could be measured in the areas of roads, water supply, housing, electricity, building of model communities, access to quality education, improved health care delivery and availability of food and agricultural products for the rural settlers.
This study is essentially a survey research and therefore depended on primary and secondary data for examination of the project performance. The study covered three local governments from the three senatorial zones of Ebonyi State viz; Ebonyi North, Ebonyi South and Ebonyi Central. The local governments are Izzi, Ikwo, and Ezza South local government area. Because communities are likely to hold varying perspectives on the issue of study and as such, it became necessary to accommodate these various views of the community as much as possible, to generate information that represent what is on ground in different communities. Thus, convenience sampling was employed in the study and 190 people from Ndieze and Igbeagu in Izzi; 100 from Amaegundufu in Ezza; and 100 from Amagu-echara in Ezza L.G.A respectively agreed to participate in the study and this gave a total of 390 persons that were used for the study. Three research questions guided the study. The instrument used for data collection was combined observation, questionnaire and interview. The researchers visited the benefitted communities to confirm the functionality or otherwise of the project in addressing developmental challenges in their areas. Questionnaires were administered to literate members of the community that form part of the sample, the illiterate ones were interviewed to obtain information on their assessment of the performance of the project in their community. The reliability of the measuring instrument was determined by administering a pre-test questionnaire randomly to selected respondents within one of the communities constituting the radius of the study area. Weighted mean and impact index/indicator were used to answer the research questions. An item with a mean score of 2.00 and above were accepted as having an impact “agreed” while any mean below 2.00 were regarded as showing no impact (disagreed).
The results of the study were obtained from the questions answered. However, interview and observation reports from field study were also presented to support or refute the questionnaire analysis.
Research question 1
What are the impacts of CSDP rural water supply on the socioeconomic wellbeing of the rural settlers in Ebonyi State?
Research question 2
What are the Factors affecting the implementation of CSDP water projects in rural communities of Ebonyi state?
Research question 3
How can the CSDP water projects in rural communities of Ebonyi state be sustained?
The data in Table 1 showed that the mean for the 6 items (Impact/ change index analysis of mean ratings of the responses of respondents on changes brought to rural dwellers as a result of World Bank Assisted CSDP Water supply project in Ebonyi State) were negative and ranged from 1.89, 1.49, 1.44 & 1.69. This indicated that the CSDP water supply (borehole project) have failed to impact or change the socio-economic status of the people in the study area. In Amagu Ndufu in Ikwo lga, the project was a motorized borehole with overhead tank Figure 1. Though the project was completed at the cost of N5, 117,950.00 (EBCSDA report) Observation showed that the project has been completed but not operational. However, members of the community interviewed said that the project is not located in the centre of the town; they argued that the location of the project at the extreme part of the community was politically motivated and does not afford the rest of the community access to water supply. Some community members accused members of the CPMC of embezzling some part of the fund meant for the project making the people fetch from streams, rivers and borehole ditch which they complained have dour as much not very clean for drinking, consequently the low mean score.
|s/n||Statement||Mean (x)||Mean dev.||Remarks|
|1||The CSDP borehole project has made the people now to have good health because of their access to good drinking water which reduces diseases infection and promoted their production||1.59||0.07||Negative impact|
|2||Farmers now have sufficient water for bath and laundry of their work clothes and wears any time throughout the year to reduce dirt and ill health.||1.49||1.03||Negative impact|
|3||The CSDP borehole project have reduced expenditure on water incurred by the people during dry season||1.44||0.64||Negative impact|
|4||The CSDP borehole project has performed significantly in the reduction of distance women and children spend trekking to fetch water for domestic purpose||1.69||0.61||Negative impact|
|5||Farmers now have water from other sources in addition to rainfall to grow crops throughout the year produce crops in large quantities for their families and for markets because of availability of water all year round.||1.69||0.61||Negative impact|
Table 1: Impact/change index analysis of Mean ratings of the responses of respondents on changes brought to rural dwellers as a result of World Bank Assisted CSDP Water supply project in Ebonyi State N =390.
The data in Table 2 showed that the mean for the 4 items index analysis of Mean ratings of the responses of respondents on factors affecting the implementation of CSDP water projects in rural communities of Ebonyi State. N =390 were positive and ranged from 2.35, 3.92, 2.32 and 2.75. This indicated that the implementation of the project was negatively affected by Inadequate funding of projects, Challenge of Dedicated project personnel, and Poor project relevance to felt community needs and Low level of community cooperation and participation. Though The CPMC members interviewed confirmed that the project received the full co-operation of community members during the implementation and at completion have been handed over to the people to manage. However, the community members interviewed said that most of the projects worked for some time and stopped; the challenges that faced the functionality of the project included poor maintenance of the facilities, poor management and non-challant attitude of members of the management committee. The data in Table 3 showed that the mean for the 4 item index analysis of Mean ratings of the responses of respondents on possible ways of sustaining CSDP water projects in rural communities of Ebonyi state. N =390 were positive and ranged from 3.4, 3.8, 3.05 and 3.0.
|s/n||Statement||Mean (x)||Mean Dev.||Remarks|
|1||In adequate funding of projects||2.35||significant|
|2||Challenge of Dedicated project personnel||3.92||significant|
|3||Poor project relevance to felt community needs||2.32||significant|
|4||Low level of community cooperation and participation||2.75||significant|
Table 2: performance/change index analysis of Mean ratings of the responses of respondents on factors affecting the implementation of CSDP water projects in rural communities of Ebonyi State. N =390.
|s/n||Statement||Mean (x)||Mean dev.||Remarks|
|1||Enhanced community cooperation and participation||3.4||Positive impact|
|2||Improved project funding||3.8||Positive impact|
|3||Engaging more dedicated personnel||3.05||Positive impact|
|4||Ensuring project relevance to felt community needs.||3.00||Positive impact|
Table 3: performance/change index analysis of Mean ratings of the responses of respondents on possible ways of sustaining CSDP water projects in rural communities of Ebonyi state. N =390.
From the first findings, it is obvious that World Bank assisted CSDP water project had no positive impact on the socio economic status of rural dwellers in Ebonyi state, for the fact that it was discovered that the people still fetch water from streams, rivers and borehole ditch which they complained have dour as much not very clean for drinking, and exposing them to Guinea worm disease. This confirms the findings of Nnamani  That People contract guinea worm by drinking water contaminated with a microscopic organism called cyclops or corpepod which live in ponds or stagnant water. The findings of this study contradicts the study of Nwakoby  which observed that the provision of boreholes in Okposhi Umuoghara community in Ezza south local government area of Ebonyi State has helped to stamp out guinea worm infection. The findings also revealed that The CSDP borehole project has not performed significantly in the reduction of distance women and children trek to fetch water for domestic purpose thereby increasing their sufferings. The CSDP Borehole water project has also not provided Farmers with sufficient water for bath and laundry services throughout the year with a view to reducing dirt and ill health. Furthermore, farmers still suffer the problem of insufficient water in addition to rainfall to grow crops throughout the year in other to produce crops in large quantities for subsistence and for commercial purposes which would have reduced the level of poverty in rural areas . This observation aligns with the findings of Olayide and Idachaba  that identified rural infrastructure as the critical elements conducive to optimum up liftmen of the socio economic welfare of rural farmers.
Table 2 revealed that funding is also a big challenge to the effective implementation of the CSDP water project in Ebonyi State. For instance, in some communities members accused members of the Community Project Monitoring Committee (CPMC) of embezzling some part of the fund meant for the project. Corruption also posed a very big threat to rural development. There is lack of integrity, accountability and transparency on the part of the people who are supposed to implement developmental projects in the rural areas. This findings agrees with the view of Nwakoby  that public funds (made for rural projects) are starched away in bank vaults in Europe and America, while an overwhelming proportion of the population live in abject poverty.
In addition to questionnaire data, interview report showed that how projects were managed went a long way in Figure 2 determining its performance and sustainability. For instance, the borehole in Ndi- Eze community in Izzi local government was drilled and functional for a time but the modalities for managing and maintaining the project pitched the community members against those charged with the responsibility of managing it. More so, non challant attitude of members of the management committee in most communities affected the functionality of some water project; corruption and fund mismanagement resulted to low quality and non-completion of some projects. This revelation also agrees with the views of Ishaku1 et al  that Community efforts and skills are indeed crucial, but their capacities and motivations need to be supplemented with capacities and mandates of government’s agencies, NGOs and the private sector.
An evaluation of World Bank assisted Community Social development Programme in Ebonyi State has revealed the extent to which it has achieved its objectives so far. However, it is not yet ‘OVER’ as the programme can still be improved on to benefit the people maximally . Consequently, it is recommended that;
1. There is need to appraise and understand the social, political, economic and cultural context of communities before instituting intervention projects. In some communities, research findings reveals that disagreement, squabbles, political power play and conflict between project officials, Community Project Monitoring Committee (CPMC) members and community members resulted in non-cooperation that led to the total or near failure of the interventions efforts. Such internal conflicts and power play sometimes affect project location that have resulted in alienation and marginalizing of some part of the host communities from fully appropriating the benefits of the projects. It is therefore, important to identify and utilize genuine community’s representatives and administrative structures in order to ensure that interventions projects are located and managed in ways that are most beneficial to the entire communities and not hijacked by a privileged few. In view of the above, the study recommends that a pre intervention survey be carried out before the actual programmes are implemented.
2. Field study revealed that one of the major reasons why some projects did not achieve their desired impacts were that projects personnel were more interested in making money than being dedicated to the success of the project. Community members accused officials of CPMC of fund mismanagement and embezzlement that resulted in diminished project outcomes, stalled projects performance and outright failures. The extent to which these allegations were true is was difficult to ascertain due to absence of judicial determination. However, since this was a common feature in most communities and raised serious questions of the transparency, credibility and accountability of the implemented process, it needs immediate attention if projects would realize their full impacts. These outcomes also demonstrated how little, community members were carried along in the implementation process. In view of these reported proliferation of allegations of corruption and fund mismanagement, this study recommends that CPMC should made to be made to be accountable to the community and strictly adhere to CSDPs requirements of publishing operating account for public scrutiny.
3. CPMC should also be made accountable to CSDP controlling office in the state which should have the power to sanction erring members and charge them to court with a view to recovering misappropriated funds from them.
4. CPMC should periodically account for the funds collected in a community general assembly, thereby creating opportunities for community members to seek clarifications on areas of doubt.
5. Collection of levies as part of counterpart funding from community members should be tied to satisfactory accounting of previous collections.
6. Community members should participate in evaluating and assessing the quality and quantity of work done to ensure that the communities get value for their money; thus periodic evaluation should not be left only in the hands of the CPMC members and CSDP officers.
The study was challenged by obvious limitations.
Firstly, the researchers had no opportunity of visiting the World Bank headquarters for first-hand information on their intervention programmes for rural development due to logistics and procedural constraints.
Secondly, the researcher had planned the study to cover all the completed micro projects in all the communities in the three selected local governments in Ebonyi state [19-21], but limited resources and other pressing personal demands compelled the researcher to narrow the scope of the study.
Thirdly, some of the CSDP and government officials interviewed on the performance of the project were very discreet in volunteering information’s on certain areas not considered free for public consumption. Some other officers were not totally co-operative in volunteering requested information that would have aided the study more.
Fourthly, the use of questionnaire was limited by the low level of education of some of the community member’s. It would have been possible to generate more data through reaching more respondents in the communities studied if the questionnaire was freely used in the research.
Fifthly, respondents low literacy level compelled the use of interviews which slowed down the data gathering process and reduced the time available for the study.
Sixthly, some members of the community were not well informed about the project either because they are not conversant with it or did not participate in the project; this subsequently narrowed the range of respondents available for interaction with the researchers. However, these limitations did not in any way invalidate the result of this study.
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