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Research Article Open Access
In Nigeria, over a score of urban water agencies depend on rivers and other surface water bodies for their raw water intakes. But many of these rivers are currently under unregulated threat from inadequate catchment management. The persistent failure to regulate and take advantage of the work that healthy watersheds perform naturally is currently overwhelming the ability of public water agencies to mitigate catchment sourced contaminants at a fraction of the cost of conventional treatment and guaranty safe drinking water to water consumers. This paper reviews a case study drawn from the Anambra-Imo River basin (one of the twelve River Basins in Nigeria) where intensive agriculture and poor land management activities, especially on catchments of key rivers serving water utilities, has increased pollution threats by non-point pollution; both organic and chemical. Human induced catchment activities, especially agriculture and deforestation has left sloping lands susceptible to rapid flood runoff and massive mudslides. However, an initiative by a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) developed a collaborative liaison for land management leveraged by catchment sensitive farming, knowledge sharing and awareness creation amongst farmers and landowners etc. aimed at restoring quality on the fragile water bodies of the expansive river basin, particularly the Otammiri River, thus bolstering its resilience to diffuse pollution from agricultural nitrates and phosphates. The emerging result from the pilot was reduced risk of contamination breaching the drinking water system hence supporting the provision of the human population with safe drinking water, which is one of the most important issues in public health.
Nigeria, Owerri, River, Agriculture, Pollution, Catchment, Runoff, Farming, Farmer, Water utility, Pollution, Environmental Effects, Water Pollution