Journal of Contemporary Urbanology

pplication of GIS as Decision Support System in Evaluation of Water Coverage and Access in Rural Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria

Uwem Ituen*, Jacob Atser** and Samuel Edem* (*Department of Geography and Natural resource Management, University of Uyo **Department of Urban and Regional Planning, University of Uyo Email: uwemituen@gmail.com; jacobatser@uniuyo.edu.ng Correspondence Email: jacobatser@uniuyo.edu.ng).

Abstract

This study examined coverage and accessibility levels of water schemes in rural areas of Akwa Ibom State using the Geographic Information System (GIS). Updated rural water schemes data was used in conjunction with base map, population data and community map of the study area. GIS technique was employed in creating database of water schemes as well as mapping of spatial distribution of the water schemes. Computation and analysis of percentage rural water coverage and access was made based on the National Water Supply and Sanitation Policy of Nigeria. In a simple GIS overlay and map algebra operations, Euclidean distance of water schemes was overlaid with the Akwa Ibom State community map to facilitate GIS decision support accessibility model for the study area. The findings revealed discrepancies in the sitting of water facilities thereby making the state to befar from attaining 100% national coverage target of water supply for growing population beyond the year 2011. Percentage access levels to safe water were equally very ow and the dream of the State meeting the sustainable development goals is a mirage. On the hole, the relationship between coverage and access (r = 0.396; r2 = 15.68%) is very weak. On the basis of the findings, it is expedient to integrate GIS as decision support mechanism in redesigning and implementation of rural water schemes in line with National Water Supply and Sanitation policy standards for efficiency and sustainability sake.

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