• Echoes of the Okavango Delta – Does the Voice of the People Matter?

    Author(s):
    Anand Datla (see profile)
    Contributor(s):
    Gabriela Cuadrado-Quesada, Susanne Schmeier
    Translator(s):
    Ronald Mothobi
    Date:
    2023
    Subject(s):
    Water-supply, Communities, Botswana--Okavango River Delta
    Item Type:
    Article
    Permanent URL:
    https://doi.org/10.17613/2ecy-jw42
    Abstract:
    Water governance in a shared basin features a complex array of actors operating at one or many scales, whose knowledge, practices, and authority inform and influence that governance. These relationships can be particularly complex in water systems that form part of a transboundary river system, as is the case with the Okavango Delta. The article discusses the persistent challenges of water access faced by community members in the Delta. Water governance in the Delta has been studied from various disciplinary perspectives; still, the experiences of local communities at the layer nearest to the water resources remain a topic of significant interest. Our research takes an integrated approach combining concepts of scales, institutions, and power. This article is based on a literature review and a qualitative empirical field study; the study found that communities in the Delta complain about persistent experiences of constrained access and limited influence in matters related to water governance. We also observe that the state is entangled in policy and practice at various scales, often appropriating power at the expense of those institutions and mechanisms designed to address the needs of the local community. Our study shows that the exercise of power by formal institutions in the Delta tends to undermine informal institutions, compromising the ability of some community members to participate effectively in water governance processes.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    4 months ago
    License:
    Attribution

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