Water allocation practices among smallholder farmers in the South Pare Mountains, Tanzania: The issue of scale
The impact of ambitious water sector reforms, that have been implemented in many countries, has not been uniform, especially in Africa. It has been argued that the disconnect between the formal statutory reality at national level and what is happening on the ground may have widened rather than shrunk. There is, therefore, a renewed interest in local water allocation arrangements and how they function. This study looks at water sharing practices and agreements among smallholder farmers in Makanya catchment (300Â km2), which is part of Pangani river basin (42,200Â km2) in northern Tanzania. Existing water sharing agreements have been studied in the Vudee sub-catchment (25Â km2), which has about 38 irrigation furrows of which 20 have micro-dams. Five micro-dams are located at the downstream side of the sub-catchment. At the outlet of the Makanya catchment, farmers practice spate irrigation, using the residual flows from the highlands to irrigate. Based on interviews with smallholder farmers and supported by hydrological data water sharing agreements were found to exist among irrigators using the same furrow, among furrows using the same river and at sub-catchment scale. Some agreements date back to the 1940s. They mostly specify water sharing on a rotational basis at all three scales. No water sharing agreements were found at catchment scale, such as between the water users in Vudee sub-catchment and Makanya village. The study concludes that, as a result of the increase in demand for a diminishing resource, tradeoffs between upstream and downstream water uses have emerged at an increasingly larger spatial scale. At the catchment scale, downstream water users have changed their practices to accommodate the changes in the flow. Currently these claims for water do not clash as upstream water users use the base flow (which does not reach downstream anymore) and downstream water users utilise the flood flows. The water sharing arrangements at sub-catchment scale are negotiated through the social networks of the smallholder farmers and are therefore build on the social ties between the communities. However, at catchment scale, the social ties appear relatively weak in addition to the hydrological disconnect; these links are possibly too weak to build new water sharing arrangements on. It may therefore be necessary to involve more formal levels of government, such as Pangani Basin Water Office, to facilitate the negotiation process and create awareness on the inter-linkages of various water uses at catchment scale.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Turpie, J. K. & Ngaga, Y. M. & Karanja, F. K., 2005. "Preliminary economic assessment of water resources of the Pangani River Basin, Tanzania," Conference Papers h041176, International Water Management Institute.
- Bhatt, Yogesh & Bossio, Deborah & Enfors, E. & Gordon, L. & Kongo, V. & Kosgei, J. R. & Makurira, H. & Masuki, K. & Mul, M. & Tumbo, S. D., 2006. "Smallholder system innovations in integrated watershed management (SSI): strategies of water for food and environmental security in drought-prone tropical and subtropical agro-ecosystems," IWMI Working Papers H039095, International Water Management Institute.
- Swallow, Brent M. & Garrity, Dennis P. & van Noordwijk, Meine, 2001. "The effects of scales, flows and filters on property rights and collective action in watershed management:," CAPRi working papers 16, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
- Tomasz Potkanski & William Adams, 1998. "Water scarcity, property regimes and irrigation management in Sonjo, Tanzania," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(4), pages 86-116.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:agiwat:v:98:y:2011:i:11:p:1752-1760. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Shamier, Wendy)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.