EVALUATION OF THE IMPACT OF NIGER DELTA DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION’S COMPLETED WATER PROJECT ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF COMMUNITIES IN RIVERS AND BAYELSA STATES, NIGERIA, 2001-2014
The main purpose of this evaluative study was to determine the extent to which the Niger Delta Development Commission water projects have impacted on the development of communities in Rivers and Bayelsa States of Nigeria. Five research questions and five null hypotheses guided the study. The study adopted an evaluative research design. The population of the study was 6,597 respondents made up of community chiefs, community development committee members, youth members, and staff of NDDC in project department. A sample of 890 respondents was drawn from the population using multi-stage proportionate sampling procedure and simple random sampling technique by balloting. Data collecting instruments were self-structured questionnaire titled,’ Questionnaire on Evaluation of NDDC Water Projects on the Development of Communities’ and Focus Group Discussion Schedule (FGDS). The questionnaire instrument was subjected to face validity by three validates. An overall reliability index of .90 was obtained using the Cronbach Coefficient Alpha. Data collected from the respondents were analysed using the means for the research questions, while the t-test statistic was used for the null hypotheses at the probability level of .05. The FGDS was analysed qualitatively. Result of findings revealed that the NDDC water projects have impacted to a high extent on the educational development of the people in communities especially in the area of reduction of time spent by children in search of water before going to school. On health, the study also found that it has impacted highly on the communities especially in the reduction of spread of water borne diseases. The findings also showed that the NDDC watrer projects have impacted highly on the economic development of people in communities especially in the area of engagement of more community members on water related businesses. On reduction of social vices among youths, the study revealed that it has impacted to a high extent. Factors that constrained the NDDC water projects from achieving its developmental objectives were inadequate consultation with benefitting communities, poor monitoring and supervision of project, inadequate funding, poor maintenance culture and the use of inexperienced and unqualified contractors. Significant difference was found regarding the extent to which the NDDC water projects have impacted on the education, health and economic development of people in the communities of Rivers and Bayelsa States. There was no significant difference found regarding the extent to which the NDDC water projects have impacted on the reduction of social vices among youths in the two states. Significant difference was also not found in the mean ratings of respondents who are non- NDDC staff and staff of NDDC in project department from the two states on factors that constrain the NDDC water projects from achieving its developmental objectives. The study therefore recommended that enlightenment programmes such as seminars and workshops should be organised by NDDC for community members on the need to embrace and safe guard projects cited in their communities.