A review of customary and statutory water management institutions in Botswana and Zimbabwe
Kolawole, Oluwatoyin, D.
PublisherUniversity of Botswana, www.ub.bw
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The role of institutions (indigenous or modern) in the management of water resources cannot be overemphasised. This paper is a review of literature on customary and statutory water resource management institutions in Botswana and Zimbabwe. It specifically assesses the existing traditional water management practices and institutions amongst different ethnic groups in the two countries. It examines water governance structures in customary and statutory water management practices and assesses the impact of colonialism on customary water management practices and governance. A critical review of literature on water management statutes and policies (that is, the Water Acts, Water Policies as well as Master Plans) and journal articles on customary and statutory water management institutions was carried out. The prevailing themes in the literature reviewed indicate that although governments are silent on the role of indigenous knowledge systems in water management, customary water management institutions are strongly rooted in rural areas, and there is a clear distinction in terms of water access and ownership between rural and urban areas. While traditional leaders are seen as proxies for the ancestors, with the latter conferring on the former custodianship of water resources in rural areas, people in urban communities view water as a natural resource with a commercial value, and this consequently engenders access and control rivalry amongst different stakeholders. Given the divergent approaches associated with water governance in rural and urban settlements, the paper recommends a hybridisation of water resources management institutions in Botswana and Zimbabwe.
- Research articles (ORI)