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The Implications of Population Growth and Water Crisis in the Bokwango Community

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Water shortage is a global problem. As some people may be enjoying sufficient supply of water, others are facing water shortage in some parts of the world.

Cameroon is not an exception to this regard because some people in the Country face water challenges which make domestic and other activities difficult.

Woman and young girls feels the effects even more because cleaning becomes even more difficult. The Government and other stakeholders have not sufficiently satisfied the constant demand for pipe borne water in some parts of Cameroon.

This could be due to population growth and urbanization which is on a rise and difficulties arises as the equation still remains unbalanced.

This study, therefore, aimed at investigating the implications of population growth and water crisis in the Bokwango community. This community falls under Buea municipality in the South West Region of Cameroon.

A sample size of 69 inhabitants was taken to represent the entire population in the study area. Random sampling technique was used to choose respondents so as to give everyone the chance of been chose and also to obtain the accurate data.

The findings for this study were analysed using (SPSS), Microsoft excel and represented in the form of tables and figures.

The finding of this study reveals that poor water management and poor pipeline construction by the Municipal authorities and not population growth are responsible for water crisis in the Bokwango community.

The study therefore came out with recommendations such as the local council or the government should be able to better understand and manage water infrastructures and resources in order to make policy and water rationing in Buea,

The Cameroon Government should encourage and sponsor community water projects which will go a long way to cope water crisis,

The Buea Municipal council should be involved in direct beneficiaries on the issue of water crises because it will facilitate knowledge of catchment areas in the municipality and how water crisis could be eradicated in the Bokwango community.




One of the most valuable natural resources on the globe is water. Water is used for domestic, industrial, agricultural and recreational purposes. Access to freshwater resources is therefore, essential to sustain life and critical for human health and wellbeing (Moyo, 2011).

Water is not a viable good per say but, rather an inheritance which must be safeguarded and protected as such (European Commission 2002).Just about anything we do uses water.

Reading a newspaper, driving a car, eating a Hamburger, or a bowl of rice, wearing cotton clothing, or drinking a beverage out of aluminum can involve processes or products that require large amounts of water.

For instance, it takes 7000litres of water to produce 1kg of grain-fed beef, and 5000litres of water to grow 1kg of rice.

In addition water keeps us alive, moderates climate, sculpts the land, removes and dilutes wastes and pollutants, and filters out wavelengths of the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation that would harm some aquatic organisms (Miller and Hackett, 2008).

A safe and potable water supply is critical to the survival of human life. Society in general requires water for the maintenance of public health, fire protection, cooling water for electrical generation, use in industrial processes, irrigation of agricultural lands and navigation (Manlina1996).

The risk accompanied with water crisis is that the locals are always subjected to diseases like typhoid, cholera and other stomach problems not forgetting that Children are the most susceptible to these health defects as they always drink water from doubtful sources.

Statistics from the United Nations says 40 Billion working hours are spent carrying water each year in Africa and that equals to a year’s labour for the entire work force.

More so household in rural Africa spend an average of 26% of their time fetching water and this generally involves women and children (Lum Edith Achamukong 2012).

Other than population growth, demand is also expected to be influenced by economic development and projected changes in water use efficiency as urban areas grow.

This is a major concern for many developing countries that have seen their economies undergo rapid transitions from rural to urban settings during the last half of the twentieth century, especially since the world population tripled while the use of water increased six-fold in the past century.

A special report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) indicated that rapid urbanization and the growth of megacities in developing countries have led to the emergence of highly vulnerable urban communities.

Population growth particularly will limit the amount of water available per person, because an increase in per capita water consumption driven by development will intensify water demand, straining the local water supply.

The Water Resource Management Authority (WRMA) already recognizes that the main driver of challenges in the context of water resources in Kenya, particularly, is the growing population with accompanying increasing demand in goods and services, which is a good step forward (Pietersen corroborates Morris et al).

Freshwater is a scarce resource: only 2.5% of the total water volume on Earth is freshwater, with the largest portion of it lying underground.

Demand for freshwater is rising with factors, such as population growth, water pollution and economic, as well as technological progress, demonstrated by Jevon’s paradox, which postulates that, contrary to expectations, increased (rather than decreased) water use efficiency does not necessarily lead to decreased consumption.

Together with land use change, a complex process affected by both natural processes and human activities and climate variations, many of these factors are expected to undergo substantial changes in the near future.

This is bound to render freshwater availability in the future uncertain. Water resources are therefore indisputably declining at an alarming rate all around the world.

Urbanization leads to increased pressure on freshwater resources as people become more concentrated in one area through the transformation of once natural landscapes to urban water-impervious lands, which limits available freshwater resources.

Urban uses currently account for an average of 10%–20% of the total water withdrawals in developing world basins, with demand increasing rapidly as a direct result of population growth in urban areas.

This can be attributed to the fact that most of the growth in the world’s population is taking place in urban areas in low and middle-income nations, and this is likely to continue (Conelius Okello, Bruno Tomasello, Nicolas Greggio, Nina Wambiji and Marco Antonellini, 2015).

With growing water scarcity, one thing that exacerbates the situation is the mismanagement of the available water resources. Proper management of groundwater resources in the face of a changing climate and land use requires a reliable knowledge of their availability, recharge and demand.

The key to determining changes in groundwater systems lies in the interactions between physical and human-induced processes and need to be incorporated in the broader environmental change scenarios, particularly by policy makers who are concerned with the future availability of water supplies and the sustainability of water use.

Though it is widely accepted that the combined effects of population growth and climate change will challenge future freshwater availability, water demand driven by an amalgamation of these factors has barely been explored in coastal aquifers.

Therefore, for coastal aquifers to continue being used as operational freshwater reservoirs, the development of better tools that facilitate the prediction of aquifer behavior under climate change conditions and human interference is required.

Managing urbanization and population growth sustainably, have often be a challenging problem in the 21century. This is typical with the developing countries just like in the case of Cameroonian cities, towns and villages.

There is a widespread recognition that the world is facing a growing water crisis, affecting the wellbeing of millions of the poorest people.

Rapidly growing population, urbanization, agricultural intensification and climate change, all contribute to greater competition and scarcity of water resources (UN, 2005).

Water crisis is persistently on an increase especially in major towns in Cameroon such as Douala, Yaoundé and fast growing towns like Buea.

The creation of the now renounce state university in Buea in 1993 completely change the phase of urbanization and population in relation to the potentials of the municipality.

Water which is supposed to be a priority in the mount Cameroon region has continuously fallen short of population demand.

1.2 Problem statement

In the case of Bokwango, water crisis is more than alarming as inhabitants go for days and at times weeks without a drop of water from the few available taps.

The Water Management Company (CAMWATER) which is charged with the responsibility of providing potable water to every household tends to ration water unfairly and the people in Bokwango suffer from this unbearable situation.             

People leave Bokwango to other places like clerk’s quarters, small Soppo, General Hospital and doubtful sources like river Kai in search of potable water.

This situation is even worse during the dry season where inhabitants in the village wonder from one place to another looking for the precious liquid spending much working hours and money for transportation. Sometimes, when there manage to be a flow, water is been wasted from the bad and old pipelines that might need some replacements.

Absolutely, there is an adverse effect on the locals in that, children and parents go to school and work late respectively after spending hours in search of water.

Women and young girls even suffer more because of little or no water for domestic purposes and at times cleaning is even more difficult.

This situation can be accounted for the numerous stomach problems happening to the locals in this area such as; Typhoid, Ronny stomach, diarrhea and dysentery and skin diseases especially to children who tend to be the most vulnerable.

By looking for a solution to this water crisis, it will be a good endeavor as a measure to fight against dirtiness, stomach illnesses and covid-19 which is a global concern today.

1.3 Research questions

1.3.1 Main question

  • What are the implications of population growth and water crisis in the Bokwango community?

1.3.2 Specific questions

  • What are the causes of population growth in the Bokwango community?

  • What are the strength of population growth and water crisis in the Bokwango Community?

  • What are the implications of population growth on water supply?

  • What are the possible solutions to eradicate water crisis in the Bokwango Community?

1.4. Research objectives

1.4.1. Main Objective

  • To analyze the implications of population growth and water crisis in the Bokwango community.

1.4.2. Specific objectives

  • To examine the causes of population growth in the Bokwango community
  • To evaluate the strength of population growth towards water supply in the Bokwango community
  • To examine the implications of population growth and water crisis in the Bokwango Community.
  • To indicate possible solutions on population growth and water crisis in the Bokwango community.


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