A policy analysis of Zimbabwe’s Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) strategy in circumstances of climate change. Case of Nyadire Sub-Catchment
Nyamucherera, Tarisai M
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Empowering poor people to enhance their livelihoods and achieving sustainable economic growth remains an important objective driving the efforts towards improvement of water resources management in third world countries. Whilst poverty has many dimensions, lack of access to water resources for household and productive purposes is a central feature of poverty that must be reduced drastically if developing countries are to meet water related Sustainable Development Goals. When Zimbabwe introduced its water reforms, they were driven by a global Integrated Water Resources Management dialogue. This study analysed the Zimbabwe’s IWRM strategy with a view to determine how the management framework that was employed to guide the national water reforms process has performed as a policy which sought to deliver goals of social equity through water resources management. In a bid to assess the water reforms in relation to four main themes namely, suitability of the policy framework, equitable access to water, delivery of water for livelihoods and stakeholder participation in decision making processes, this study employed qualitative and quantitative research methodologies guided by the phenomenology and the positivist paradigms. It was discovered that proponents of Integrated Water Resources Management paid insufficient attention to the political and historical dimensions of water resources management in Zimbabwe. Broadly, the historical construction of communal areas, characterised by limited water resources and a lack of water storage infrastructure is what still define rural Zimbabwe in terms of access to water resources for domestic and productive livelihoods. Within this context, Zimbabwe’s water reform was overlaid on top of an underlying maze of inequality of water access such that the reform continued to the status quo of privileged access to water to largely users who already enjoyed better access to water. The local water reforms have failed to provide for improved possibilities for more productive uses of water resources for previously marginalised water users residing in communal and resettlement areas. Stemming from the above findings, this study contends that any attempt to reform the water sector areas must confront the historical legacy of inequitable access to water resources if improved uses of water resources are to be realised. Therefore, it is suggested that a „post-crisis‟ water reform policy, must seek to adapt the concept of Integrated Water Resources Management and promote aspects of the concept which are coherent with local struggles for improved access and control of water resources for livelihood improvements.
Additional Citation InformationNyamucherera, T. M. (2015). A policy analysis of Zimbabwe’s Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) strategy in circumstances of climate change. Case of Nyadire Sub-Catchment. [Unpublished master's thesis]. University of Zimbabwe.
University of Zimbabwe
SubjectGlobal Water Partnership
Integrated Water Resources Management
Access to Water resources
World Water Partnership
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