Causes and possible solutions to water resource conflicts in the Okavango River Basin: The case of Angola, Namibia and Botswana
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This paper reviews available literature concerning water resources use in the Okavango River Basin (ORB). It describes a number of common arguments regarding possibilities for the emergence of violent conflict in and among Basin states, particularly those states party to the Okavango River Basin Commission (Okacom)—Angola, Botswana and Namibia. The paper presents data concerning present and future water demands and examines a number of formal, institutional steps taken by global and regional actors to facilitate sustainable development, natural resources management and peaceful cooperation in the Basin. Contrary to trends in much of the literature, the paper suggests that there is great scope for enhanced inter-state cooperation in the Basin. It argues that to achieve sustainable utilisation of water resources and avoid violent conflict in the ORB, an integrated management plan for the entire basin needs to be developed. In addition, each basin member-state should observe international and regional conventions and treaties governing the use of water resources when designing national water development projects that require the use of water from the ORB.
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