Evaluation of Participatory Poverty Reduction Through Water Delivery Support of Local Empowerment and Environmental Management Project (Leemp) in Rural Southeast Nigeria



This study was conducted to evaluate Participatory Poverty Reduction by Utilization of Water Delivery of Local Empowerment and Environmental Management Project (LEEMP) in Southeast Nigeria as a contribution towards finding water panacea to poverty associated with Livestock Fattening (poultry and fishery), especially during dry season in water stress communities. Also, it was meant to create awareness for Community Driven Development (CDD) Participation. Primary data were obtained from water benefitting communities in LEEMP delivery support. Data were analyzed using regression analysis, marginal analysis model and chi-square test. Result showed that the farmers were composed of 43% females and 57% males. About 31% of the farmer had tertiary educational; 29% of the them had secondary school education; 27% had only primary education while 13% had no formal education. Most of the farmers were within 36-49 years. Large scale poultry farmers (16%) and fish farmers (55%) used on the average 81% CDD water delivery volume and generated 72% livestock income. The small scale poultry farmers (60%) and fish farmers (31%) used on the average 6% of the water volume and generated 10% of the livestock income. The daily timeliness per unit of LEEMP water delivery was 42 minutes on the average. LEEMP reduced poverty through water utilization by 67%. The amount of poultry credit demanded significantly (p < 0.05) influenced the product size (farm output size). Credit for fishery activities was significantly (p < 0.05) low. Other factors that significantly (p < 0.05) influenced Poultry credit were the number of children, leadership position and religion. The volume of water used and the man-days of LEEMP water use significantly (p < 0.05) increased income from poultry. Household size and age significantly (p < 0.05) influenced income from fishery. The 6% score on water volume used by small scale farmers as against 81% for Large scale farmers indicated differential participation by the two categories of livestock farmers. The study recommends opening up virile CDD credit line for fishery and supply of improved stocks to support poultry and fishery production. The study also recommends supportive mobilization of participation through the use of agricultural extension education for the educationally less privileged farmers as well as rotating the CDD leadership of benefitting micro-project communities, at least bi-ennially. Besides, doors should be opened for greater number of water stress communities to benefit from LEEMP/CSDP water delivery support, with greater community contributions made in kind rather than cash




1.1 Background Information          

Participatory Poverty Reduction through Water Delivery Support is a rural support programme to address problems of rural household chore water scarcity and to enhance community agricultural productivity (income). It is relatively new in Nigeria. Water scarcity is caused by water stress. Water is a renewable resource and water stress begins when withdrawals of fresh water rise above 10% of renewable resources (UNDP, 1997).

Water delivery for agricultural use in most Nigerian rural communities requires capital investment. Many communities stressed by frequently occurring dry season drought chose water delivery from the micro-project rural support of Local Empowerment and Environmental Management Project (LEEMP) for poverty reduction in southeastern Nigeria.

Water stress denies most rural communities access to livelihoods water delivery (Enugu State SEEDS (2004). The dry season water stress causes environmental dryness and frustrates effective use of rural man-hours/-days input to agriculture (Okwor, 2001). It also, frustrates income earnings for all seasons’ animal fattening:  poultry and fishery

Availability of safe water supply can support sustainable livelihoods (UNICEF Nigeria, 2012). Okwor (2001) pointed that fishery and poultry make better use of land and water in the environment. So, supportive agricultural water use can sustain production, prevent water borne diseases and save lives from unnecessary accidents. Also, effective use of man-hours is possible when water is easily accessible. Further, sustainable livelihoods in agricultural production is able to facilitate improved income which in turn can facilitate access to social needs: access to credit facilities, education for children, access to communication facilities, access to health facilities and enablement to pay for counterpart funds contributions on new investment (s).

LEEMP started the first phase field operation in Nigeria in 2004 and had project support units at federal and state levels, with only participating southeastern states as Enugu and Imo. LEEMP is an agency of International Development Association (IDA) in development partnership with Nigerian government. Since March 2009, LEEMP has acquired a new name, in its second phase, as Community and Social Development Project (CSDP), but the micro-project target is still on Local Empowerment and Environmental Management. The broad objective of LEEMP/CSDP is double-barreled. The first part is in strengthening the institutional framework at the federal, state and local government levels to support environmentally sustainable and community socially inclusive participatory development. The second is in assisting beneficiary communities of LEEMP to have planned, co-financed and implement-able  micro-project(s) (Ugwuoke, 2006).

LEEMP/CSDP as a project support organization for participatory poverty reduction has the following specific objectives namely: (i) Raising the standard of living. (ii) Reduction of poverty through five components as follow: education through social inclusiveness to bring better method  and increase in the income of the people; increasing the number of man-hours and man- days of business engagement; reduction of risk and, provision of security and safety of project through provision for operations and maintenance committee for each project; reduction  of cost of production; mobilizing communities to invest in livestock fattening, fishery, agricultural processing activities and provision of safety net credit to communities’ organized needy and vulnerable groups, with a view to reducing consumption expenditure (FPSU and MacMatts Consultants, 2006). So, the objectives of LEEMP are to obviate problems of project imposition, top-down development implementation and to improve the lot of rural communities (Papka, 2004).

LEEMP operates with CDD strategy through the promotion of participatory decision making, integrated multi-sectoral planning and sustainable environmental impact control among micro-project communities. According to the Federal Support Unit (FPSU) and MacMatts consultants (2006), Community Driven Development (CDD) is broadly defined as a process of control of decision and resources by community-based groups for participatory improvement of natural, physical and social infrastructure.  CDD is also referred to as qualitative participation.

CDD strategy emphasizes participatory socially inclusive decision making and bottom-up management to micro-project delivery. Consequently, the concept of CDD enables the communities and local governments to collaboratively plan, design, execute and sustain their development projects. The concepts of CDD are functional transparency, accountability, participation by socially inclusive bottom-up management, and focus on rural people, sustainability of project, and Local Government Assessment for Governance (Papka, 2004).

Methods of quality participation need relationships, attitude and behavior to influence changes at personal and institutional levels. Both changes in the attitudinal and behavioral levels bring about improvement at personal level, while changes in relationships are reflected in the institutional changes. Changes at all these three levels are prerequisites for the CDD approaches (Chambers, 2002).

LEEMP uses IDA funds to finance micro-project supports for rural communities that chose investments in water delivery. Water borehole support of LEEMP, as in other public goods, necessitates technical and mobilization support for preparation of Community Development Plan (CDP) on project(s). Some communities receive supports in borehole(s) and sometimes with reticulation. It is expected that a community borehole project would receive N6.5 million worth of support from LEEMP (Eze, 2005). On entry activities, LEEMP is intervening with micro-project support in states such as Adamawa, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Benue, Enugu, Imo, Katsina, Niger and Oyo (FPSU, 2006).

LEEMP financing for projects implementation has a procedure for releasing funds in tranches of 50%, 30%, and 20% to communities through the Chairman of the Community Project Management Committee (CPMC). The CPMC membership constitution is usually by election organized by MFT (Multi-disciplinary Facilitating Team) members. Also, LEEMP responsive support demand includes facilitation for mobilization which might be inadequate in some rural communities for such election purposes and for joint community development efforts. Among the elected nine CPMC members, the chairman, the secretary, the financial secretary and the treasurer man the accounting process of the receipt and use of the micro-project(s) funds and also negotiate with other CBOs (Community Based Organisations) such as supporting rural banks. Moreover, the members of CPMC would be accountable /answerable to the town union and to the leader (Chief, Emir, or Igwe). As a necessity, the beneficiary community is required to appoint a maintenance committee that would see to the collection of a token amount from the users of the borehole(s) against management cost.

According to FPSU (2006), LEEMP started community entry point activities for CDD project phase one, with 3 local government areas in each LEEMP participating state of the federation but increased to 18 in 2006. So, Enugu and Imo, the southeast LEEMP phase one participating states had a total of 18 LEEMP local government areas (LGAs) each with 194 LEEMP benefitting communities (Enugu 92; Imo 102). The population size of each LEEMP benefiting community is about 1500 to 3000 (FPSU, 2004). According to Enugu State MOA (2013); and Imo State MOA (2013) the population of fish farmers is 825 for Enugu; and 939 for Imo state. Also, the population of poultry farmers for Enugu State is 1583; and Imo State is 1577 (Avian Influenza Project, 2008); However, there are dynamic yearly entry and exit from this population.

Therefore it becomes necessary to find out the extent and where the participatory support of LEEMP has helped to reduce poverty by utilization of water delivery for increased dry season agricultural output. It is also necessary to assess the effectiveness and the efficiency of participatory water delivery by impact evaluation of its utilization for homestead dry season agricultural livestock fattening, income generation and effective use of farmers’ man-hours. Too, it is most likely that the utilization of participatory water delivery of LEEMP may impact significantly on the flow of rural agricultural credit.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

The frequently occurring and scourging dry season in most water stress communities of Southeast Nigeria is associated with long break in rainfall (Mustapha, 2007). In effect, the dry spell denies community members access to water and frustrates the use of man-hours and man-days input for agriculture, frustrates crop and animal viability, discouraging investments in all season’s vegetable crops, poultry and fishery. This necessitated the government intervention using LEEMP water support but the support is yet scanty since greater number of communities have not benefitted. Also, inadequate participatory capabilities creates a great gap among the farmers in the use of the water support.

Further, unsafe water supply for household, livestock farm drinking and hygiene is a major costly concern to water stress rural communities. Unsafe water supply is responsible for water borne diseases for man and animals and translates to huge expenditures on family and farm medical bills. Moreover, the huge expenditure  on commercial water supply in those water needy communities during the dry spell period denies the farmers opportunity of enough savings and frustrates investments in cost saving facilities of boreholes for all season’s agricultural production. Then, agricultural productivity declines drastically implying high food prices: the impact usually is more on vegetables, fish products, chicken, mutton and goat meat.

Moreover, during the dry spell period of the water stress communities, rural man-hours are wasted in search of water afar, less capital is accumulated and so, lending and interest rates become costly in agriculture. Thus, the prospects of borrowing to support agricultural production are greatly reduced. Even, when farmers borrow to support agricultural operations, the frustrating dry spell often engender delay in most income generating activities, delaying the farmers payback period, and in turn suggesting credit unworthiness for the community farmers.

Again, very far sources of water supply disturb the academic training-careers of farmers’ children. Very often some of these school children would miss their class or end up in hospitals when they are knocked down by some fast moving vehicles while they would be searching afar to fetch water(Eze, 2007)

Inability to raise counterpart funds sometimes delays or denies project implementation of participatory water delivery to indigent communities. Sometimes the supporting demand responsive organizations might require counterpart funds contributions of the benefiting communities in boreholes, and very often most indigent communities disappoint these supportive agencies. Some local governments’ councils do not help out with counterpart funds.

Ezenwaji & Ezenwaji (2010) have undertaken a study aimed at assessing the impact of urban water quality and sanitation strategies on urban areas of Southeast Nigeria. They found that in the urban areas of Southeast States, poor management of urban water supply infrastructure have resulted in highly irregular and intermittent water supply. Also, they found that apart from Enugu and Abakaliki urban areas, other urban areas in the region hardly receive any water supply from the municipal source. Thus, they found that water supply is so serious in Anambra state which for the past 10 years, no consumer in any of the urban areas in the state has received water from the public water supply source because the State Water Agency (SWA) has not been functioning for the period of years.

Konyebagu (2010), showed that the Federal Government of Nigeria has had a framework for water and water sector development but there is a problem of continuity. Previously, there had been blue prints for National State and even Urban Water Supply Development in different parts of the country. However, never had any blue print been followed to a logical conclusion; for example there was 11 (Eleven) River Basin Development Authority (RBDA) meant to develop the nations water resources; there was the UNICEF mandated International Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation Decade (1981 – 1990), with a lot done, but the water goal was not achieved due to top-down project management (Konyebagu, 2011). Other researchers on water are concerned with  Surface and Groundwater  Quality of Enugu Urban Areas; Residential Water Demand and Supply in Nsukka Urban Area of Enugu State, Nigeria; Comparative Quality Evaluation of Sources of Domestic Water Supply in Enugu Urban Area, Environmental Review; Urban Water pollution in Aba, Nigeria (Ezemonye, 2009; Ibeziako, 1985; Mong, 1984; Nnodu & Ilo, 2000; Udeze, 1988). However, none of the research studies addressed rural water delivery nor bottom-up management process of water delivery.

Thus, a research gap is spotted in the need for evaluation of participatory poverty reduction by utilization of rural water delivery support since other researches have centred on urban water supply. Specifically, LEEMP phase 1 has transited to CSDP and it has become necessary that an impact or post evaluation study be conducted to assess the effectiveness and efficiency of utilization of rural water delivery of LEEMP for dry season homestead agriculture.

In summary, agricultural productivity in most water stress rural communities are threatened by frequently occurring and scourging dry season with an enforcement of long break from rain-fed agriculture: occasioning costly water supply from commercial water vendors, frustrating savings. It occasions wastage of man-hours in search of water afar and helpless periods of decline in farm productivity, and it is a threat to timeliness of agricultural engagements. In succession, it results in high food prices, frustrates capital accumulation and farm income generating activities needed for economic growth of individuals, and implicates credit unworthiness for rural farmers. It is eroding farmers’ ability to raise counterpart contributions needed for ownership responsibilities as required by the principles of CDD; and there are incidences of accidents and loss of lives in search of water in some far away places.

So, the rural community water problems and the activities of LEEMP for rural water support programme call for some certain research questions, namely: (i) do the farmers have the peer group cementing factor and levels of educational training required for collaboration in CDD pursuit and for Choice Decision of micro-project?; (ii) does CDD water delivery make water supply nearer, reduce labour time and economically reduce cost of production for any dry season agricultural enterprise(s)?; (iii) are there significant flow of agricultural credit support sequel to the CDD water delivery? (iv) what is the influence of CDD water delivery on the income level of a given agricultural enterprise(s)?;  (v) what is the influence of CDD water delivery on some homestead agricultural enterprises ? (vi) what are the constraints to the use of  CDD water delivery for domestic and agricultural production in the study area ?


1.3 Objectives of the Study          

The broad objective of the study is to evaluate participatory poverty reduction through water delivery support of Local Empowerment and Environmental Management Project (LEEMP) in Southeast Nigeria.

Specific objectives of the study are to:

  1. describe the socio-economic characteristics influencing the community CDD Livelihood demand for water and credit support for investment in fishery and poultry.
  2. ascertain the effects of LEEMP water support on  daily timeliness of farm operation and on poverty.
  3. assess the CPMC coordinated livelihood credit programme of LEEMP agricultural water users  with a view to ascertaining outreach and effectiveness.
  4. evaluate the effect of LEEMP water support on fishery and poultry homestead dry season farm production.
  5. identify the constraints to the use of CDD water delivery in the study area

1.4 Hypotheses of the Study

Based on the above specific objectives, this study would be guided by the following

null hypotheses:

(i) Utilization of CDD water delivery of LEEMP does not significantly enhance livestock dry season agricultural income.

(ii) LEEMP livestock water users do not significantly borrow/demand for credit to enhance farmers’ Incremental – Output Ratio.

(iii) Dry season livestock farm expenditure is not significantly influenced by the demand of Credit for dry season livestock fattening (poultry and fishery).

(iv) LEEMP  water users do not significantly differ in their utilization of water delivery for dry season livestock fattening (poultry and fishery)

1.5 Justification of the Study

The need for natural resource integration management in rural economic growth necessitates the rural support programme in water delivery. A component of the second specific objective of LEEMP is on mobilizing communities to invest in livestock fattening, fishery, vegetable garden, agricultural processing activities, and provision of safety net credit to communities’ organized vulnerable groups (FPSU and MacMatts Consultants,2006)

Investment in all season’s animal fattening: poultry and fishery need access to supportive water delivery. Water availability in the face of frequently occurring and scourging dry season in water stress communities is very important to agricultural health, sanitation and for effective use of community man-hours and man-days. Moreover, the poverty reduction strategy adopted in 1999 enjoins donor agencies to continue to support governments in development countries in participatory manner for effective management of critical Natural Resources, including water (Mustapha, 2007).

The Nigerian policy thrust on control of rural-urban migration (drift) emphases on orienting youths to rural agricultural employment. Then, farmers’ children are also involved in agricultural helping hands. Therefore, the nation cannot afford continued loss and waste of rural man-hours in search of needed dry season agricultural water for animal fattening: animal health and hygiene.  Thus, the study aims to examine the significance of CDD demand in relationships, LEEMP responsive support for rural water delivery for utilization in agricultural livestock fattening: poultry and fishery health and hygiene.

The ordeals some communities undergo sequel to scarcity and search of water supply for household chores culminating in accidents and sometimes loss of lives of school children have further propelled enquiries into participatory project in water delivery. However, very few statistics is available on CDD water delivery, supply and reticulation in the rural communities. This problem should be a thing of concern for national policy makers and researchers.

Furthermore, some communities find it very difficult to raise enough capital as to pay for their counterpart funds contributions. This kind of disappointment in CDD arrangements call for a way forward as how to help out indigent communities in water delivery.

The finding of this study will bring to light the understanding of CDD mechanism. It will also throw light on implemented projects in water delivery, use of water to achieve efficiency of production, marginal efficiency of capital, earnings in participatory project boreholes enhanced agriculture, access to agricultural credit and control of loss of man-hours.

In anticipation, the study will also contribute to literature in participatory project delivery studies and provide a basis for reference and further research.

1.6 Limitation of the Study

       The study experienced some certain limitations ranging from supply of incomplete information due to the suspicion of the rural community farmers. Also, livestock fattening was not commercially well distributed among the study communities. For example, only very few farmers operated fishery enterprise. Moreover, there were very scanty poultry farmers at Okutu in Nsukka local government area.

Also, the researcher restricted himself in two major limited agricultural enterprises since the farmers were not commercially engaged in other dry season water supportive enterprises  and since fishery and poultry make better use of land and water in the environment.


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