ENVIRONMENTAL IMPLICATIONS OF INDISCRIMINATE DRILLING OF BOREHOLE FOR FRESHWATER (A CASE STUDY OF KARISHI IN FCT ABUJA)
1.1 Background of the study
When borehole is randomly drilled and water is collected from so many points at any time, it leads to reduction in the net flow of underground water which consequently can have significant effect on the water cycle. The problem of environmental pollution due to toxic metals has begun to cause concern now in most major metropolitan cities. The toxic heavy metals entering the ecosystem may lead to geoaccumulation, bioaccumulation and biomagnification. Heavy metals like Fe, Cu, Zn, Ni and other trace elements are important for proper functioning of biological systems and their deficiency or excess could lead to a number of disorders (Ward, 1995). Food chain contamination by heavy metals has become a burning issue in recent years because of their potential accumulation in biosystems through contaminated water, soil and air. Therefore, a better understanding of heavy metal sources, their accumulation in the soil and the effect of their presence in water and soil on plant systems seem to be particularly important issues of present-day research on risk assessments (Rajesh et al., 2004). The main sources of heavy metals to vegetable crops are their growth media (soil, air, nutrient solutions) from which these are taken up by the roots or foliage (Ward, 1995).
Most of our water resources are gradually becoming polluted due to the addition of foreign materials from the surroundings. These include organic matter of plant and animal origin, land surface washing, and industrial and sewage effluents (Karnataka State Pollution Control Board, 2002). Rapid urbanization and industrialization with improper environmental planning often lead to discharge of industrial and sewage effluents into lakes. The lakes have a complex and fragile ecosystem, as they do not have selfcleaning ability and therefore readily accumulate pollutants. Bellandur Lake, the largest one in Bangalore urban area, recently attracted a lot of public attention because of the formation of froth during rainy season due to chemicals (soaps, detergents, etc.) and biosurfactants. For the last few decades, the treated, partially treated and untreated wastewater has been discharged to this lake and the lake water is being used for farming purposes (Pruss et al., 2002).
Individual rural homeowners are often responsible for providing and protecting their own water supplies. Where safety of these sources is concerned, no “short-cuts” can be taken. Protecting the quality of individual water supplies is a combination of controlling land use around the supplies and using proper water treatment techniques where necessary. Rural homeowners must assume responsibility for protecting their families from contaminated drinking
water. Assistance in this regard can be obtained from a number of agencies (Ward, 1995). Local health authorities can answer questions relating to applicable local regulations; health hazards posed by contaminated water, and suggested procedures for sampling and analyzing drinking water for contaminants. In some cases, local health officials will analyze individuals‟ water samples for common pollutants at no cost or for a nominal charge. Complete well water analysis is the homeowner‟s responsibility and is not free. State regulatory agencies charged with water resource management can answer questions regarding water use. They usually also have information regarding the availability and suitability of water sources in the State. Such agencies usually administer safety regulations for dams as well (Ward, 1995).
1.2 Statement of the problem
When there is indiscriminate drilling of borehole for fresh water, the area runs a risk of saline intrusion when ground water is over extracted especially if the area in question is located close to the coast of the sea or ocean. It also means that something has to go in there to take its place otherwise in the future the area may run the risk of having landslides etc. which may consequently reach the surface and affect structures and infrastructures around the site. These holes may in the future develop into cracks which may lead to faults in the earth. Moreover, pumping out ground water from much water borehole point will lead to a reduction in the level of ground water. This means that people have to drill farther down to get enough water to sustain pumping. Those that have shallow wells will no longer get water unless they go deep into the aquifer. It will therefore cost more in future to drill to a realistic sustainable depth in the aquifer if one desires to have a borehole in other words recharge will be low.
1.3 Objectives of the study
The following are the objectives of this study:
1. To undergo physico-chemical tests of selected borehole water samples in the area
2. To examine the effect of pH on borehole water source compared to WHO and NAFDAC
3. To determine the solutions to the challenges of environmental implications of indiscriminate drilling of borehole
1.4 Research questions
1. What are the physico-chemical tests of selected borehole water samples in the area?
2. What is the effect of pH on borehole water source compared to WHO and NAFDAC?
3. What are the solutions to the challenges of environmental implications of indiscriminate drilling of borehole?
1.5 Significance of the study
The following are the significance of this study:
1. The outcome of this research will educate the general public on the environmental implications of indiscriminate drilling of borehole.
2. The findings from this study is going to necessitate measures that will lead to demand for improved implementation of borehole drilling control laws in Nigeria
3. This research will also serve as a resource base to other scholars and researchers interested in carrying out further research in this field subsequently, if applied, it will go to an extent to provide new explanation to the topic.
1.6 Scope/limitations of the study
This study on environmental implications of indiscriminate drilling of borehole will cover physico-chemical tests of selected borehole water samples in karishi in Abuja.
1.7 Limitation of study
Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
The inability of the government to provide constant water supply to Karishi in Abuja has led to indiscriminate drilling of boreholes. The water facility in the area was provided in the 1980s.With the increase in the number of population due to high rate of urbanization, the water facilities can no longer sustain the growing population in the area and as a result people have resorted to drilling boreholes to meet their water requirements. Though these boreholes are solving these problems of water scarcity, it has some environmental consequences which in the long run may outweigh the gains. The government should rise to its moral responsibility so as to have the justification to redress this situation
⦁ Water facility should be expanded and upgraded to accommodate increasing demand because it is the right of citizens to have access to good and constant water supply. If this is done the government will have the justification to stop indiscriminate drilling of boreholes.
⦁ Mechanic workshops should be moved to designated places far away from residential areas to avoid pollution that emanates from their workshops littered all over the city, defaulters should be penalized
⦁ These wastes from various sectors must be properly disposed to reduce the risk of pollution and contamination. Boreholes must be sited wisely to avoid drinking polluted water.
⦁ Boreholes should be removed far away from septic tanks and sources of pollution
⦁ The boreholes must be drilled according to professional standards.
⦁ A monitoring body should be constituted to ensure that the above is implemented.
⦁ Defaulters to the regulation concerning these stated above must be penalized for it to be effective.
⦁ For those that already have boreholes, they should observe and maintain WHO standards for safe drinking potable water at the desirable and permissible limit for human consumption.
⦁ Water from the boreholes should be limed before consumption because of the acidic nature of the water samples..