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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Provision of adequate water supply in Benin Province: local government efforts 1938-1966
Author:Shokpeka, Sarah A.ISNI
Periodical:Lagos Historical Review
Geographic term:Nigeria
Subjects:water supply
colonial period
Abstract:In Nigeria, the local government law of 1922 and 1953 and other ordinances made the provision of an adequate water supply the responsibility of local governments. This article examines the performance of local governments in providing potable water in the four Native Administration areas of Benin Province during the colonial period, Benin, Esan, Afemai and Asaba Divisions. Benin and Esan Divisions showed great enthusiasm and determination in carrying out this responsibility. To this end they worked in closed collaboration with the Public Works Department, a unit of the provincial administration based in every Division. By contrast, in Afemai and Asaba Divisions there were many hindrances as a result of inadequate funding and lack of interest on the part of the District Officers in charge of the Divisions. The main strategy employed by the Native Administrations was the construction of wells and underground water tanks. During the tenure of the Native Administrations only Benin and Esan Divisions provided pipe-borne water in Benin City and Ubiaja respectively. With the inception of elected councils in 1957, the provision of social amenities, including water supply for the rural areas, became politicized. Only the Divisions that were aligned with the ruling regional parties were judged to qualify for such benefits as the provision of potable water, a trend that prevailed up to 1966. Ref., sum. [Journal abstract]