Debevec Liza / International Water Management Institute, Addis Ababa
Water is a precious resource/commodity without which human life would be inconceivable. Due to a variety of threats to the water resources around the world, most countries have adopted strategies meant to assure a sustainable management of these resources. During the last decade the water reforms have been implemented across Africa. They have turned the existing ways of water management upside down, both in terms of principles and in ways of application. These reforms have been appropriated (or not) by the local populations in a variety of modes.
This panel invites papers that explore the complexities of multiple-use water services in Africa from an anthropological or historical perspective (contributions from geography, sociology and political sciences are also welcome). The panel will provide room for discussion of the complexities of these reforms and their meaning for the everyday lives of the people they affect.
Interventions among other issues explore:
– Power relations that are embedded in the reform,
– Meaning of the reform for the users and the policy makers
– Potential conflicts that arise from the different ways of understanding the reforms by different stakeholders involved.
La réforme de l’eau en Afrique : droits et obligations des citoyens dans une perspective historique et anthropologique
L’eau est une denrée précieuse sans laquelle toute vie humaine serait inimaginable sur terre. Différentes menaces sur les ressources en eau à travers le monde ont emmené la plupart des Etats de la planète à adopter des stratégies censées assurer une gestion durable de ces ressources. Au cours de ces dernières années, des réformes du secteur de l’eau se sont multipliées un peu partout en Afrique. Elles bouleversent aussi bien dans leurs principes que dans leur mise en œuvre, les anciens modes de gestion de l’eau. Elles ont été appropriées (ou non) de différentes manières par les populations locales. Ce panel fait appel à des articles qui explorent la complexité des divers services d’eau en Afrique dans une perspective anthropologique ou historique (des contributions venant de la géographie, de la sociologie et des sciences politiques notamment).
Le panel offrira un espace de discussion sur les complexités des réformes du secteur de l’eau et leurs significations pour la vie quotidienne des populations concernées.
Les interventions explorent entre autres :
– les relations de pouvoir intrinsèques à ces réformes,
– le sens des réformes aussi bien pour les usagers de l’eau que pour les acteurs politiques,
– les conflits potentiels qui découlent des différentes compréhensions des réformes par les acteurs impliqués.
Torou Bio / International Water Management Institute & University of Ouagadougou
Réforme hydro-institutionnelle et mutations socio-spatiales autour de l’eau : cas de trois comité locaux de l’eau (CLE) au Burkina Faso
Les politiques publiques de l’eau au Burkina Faso ont été caractérisées par une gestion administrative et sectorielle qui durant de longtemps a considéré les populations comme de simples utilisateurs ou de la main d’œuvre mobilisée pour l’exploitation des aménagements hydrauliques. Ceci n’a pas permis de responsabiliser les populations qui voient les infrastructures comme une propriété de l’Etat. Avec le désengagement de l’Etat des secteurs économiques dans la décennie 90 et la réforme du secteur de l’eau du pays selon les principes de la GIRE, les exploitants se sont vus confiés la gestion des aménagements hydrauliques. En plus, ils sont obligés de collaborer avec d’autres acteurs pendant longtemps considérés comme informels. Les communautés alors confrontées à des situations nouvelles plus complexes, réinventent la trame de leurs relations par la négociation et de nouveaux compromis. Ces compromis créent des droits nouveaux par le fait de l’accoutumance. La gestion de l’eau se caractérise donc par un dualisme droits coutumiers/droits modernes qui se complètent mais qui entre régulièrement en conflit. Le processus de mise en œuvre de la GIRE demeure exclusivement descendante et donc au niveau local, les structures crées pour la gestion concerté de l’eau sont vécues comme des impositions de l’Etat central et ne donne pas encore l’effet escompté par les autorités. Trois cas d’étude nous permettrons d’illustrer nos propos.
Liza Debevec Liza / IWMI (International Water Management Institute)
Whose Decision, Whose Participation: Water Reform and Water Users Associations in Rural Burkina Faso from the Perspective of the Different Level Actors
Reforms often follow a donor-driven decision by the government & designed by experts. In recent decades, however, governments, NGOs, and other development counterparts have endeavored to include a participatory component in reforms, to ensure that the reform is successfully adopted by the population and thereby sustainable. The attempts to make the process participatory are not always fully successful. Our paper examines the rural water supply reform in Burkina Faso, an ongoing component of the IWRM reform since the first official texts on the reform were adopted between 1996 & 2001. The actual National program for drinking water supply was adopted in with the plan to achieve its goals in 2015, as part of the MDGs. Since mid-2013 we have been following the implementation of the reform in the SW region of Burkina with an attempt to understand the constraints that different actors face in the implementation and adoption of the reform. Our research suggests that the reform is certainly in progress in the area of study. It has created a sense of hope & expectations among the local population in regard to effective management solutions for the availability & supply of drinking water. However, a gap still exists between the legal texts of the reform & their application in the field. This gap is particularly prevalent at the level of appropriation of the concept of IWRM, the availability of financial resources, and the technical skills required to make the reform fully functional.
Laube Wolfram Wolfram / Center for Development Research, University of Bonn
Stagnant Reforms and Submerged Rights in Ghana’s Water Sector
Since the 1990s, Ghana has embarked on comprehensive reforms of the water. Central to these reforms was the establishment of the Water Resources Commission (WRC). As water resources management had originally been highly decentralised and multiple, partly overlapping and partly conflicting regulations existed, the creation of a coordinating body for the water sector had been of prime importance. The WRC has become this central body that has the task to set up management structures and information systems that enable an economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable use of the country’s raw water resources. The WRC-act has involved the transfer of water rights from riparian landowners to the government – a fact that has not earned widespread recognition in Ghana. But while citizens’ rights to water have been legally curtailed, the WRC has not lived up to its responsibilities. Deprived of resources and political support after international donors pulled out, and hampered by ineffective institutional arrangements, the WRC has failed to set up basin commissions in most river basins and to promote sustainable and socially acceptable water use practices. This paper uses examples from sectors of large of political and economic importance in Ghana, such as mining and agriculture, to show how the reform process has stagnated, the WRC is frequently side-lined in decision making, while former owners of riparian water rights are frequently deprived of secure access to water.
Nicola Pritchard Nicola / University of Glasgow
Community Water Provision in Dar es Salaam and the Complexities of Formalising the Informal
After failed privatisation in the early 2000s, the water system in Dar es Salaam is now under the control of a public limited company. However, as the city’s population increases, several areas have been left out of the coverage of the municipal system and have devised alternative means to access water. Informal community methods of water provision have been in existence for some time yet recent policy changes have made them a part of Tanzania’s water policy framework. Formalised community provision has introduced a number of stakeholders into water access, with international organisations funding start up costs and local organisations providing training. Whilst the water policy advocates community water provision in rural areas, the increasingly growing peri-urban settlements of Dar es Salaam are nonetheless are classified as rural, subjecting these areas to inappropriate policy that requires more of communities than is feasible. Additionally, schemes put in place by external ac tors often do not pay attention to community needs and result in useless projects that cease functionality very quickly. Community members argue that any contributions to start up costs mean that they should be able to receive water for free, which is not the intention of those who provide community-based water infrastructure. This paper addresses the way in which community provision has become formalised in policy and the issues and complex power relations that have resulted from this.
Onyenechere Emmanuella Emmanuella / Imo State University
Citizens’ Rights, Citizens’ Obligations: Enabling Water Reforms in Owerri city, Nigeria
The current attempt to improve the water sector in Nigeria is being carried out within the third national urban water sector reform program. Preceding it were the first and second national urban water sector reforms which commenced in 2004 and 2005 respectively. This paper focuses on the significant trends in urban water sector reforms with Owerri city as case study. Specifically it examines the first, second and third urban water sector reforms to ascertain what it means to government (policy makers) and the citizens. The questionnaire was used to obtain information from 450 respondents spread over Owerri city. The data obtained were analyzed quantitatively and qualitatively. From the study it was deduced that policy makers see water reform as a tool for addressing institutional weaknesses in the water sector and a springboard for creating an enabling environment for better water service provision. The study also shows that respondents vary in their perception of water reform.
There are those citizens that see water as a public good and believe that water reform would involve financial commitment s such as payment of water tariff which many Nigerian citizens are known to have an aversion for. On the other hand, there are rich citizens to whom water reforms imply improved water provision for which they are willing to make payments for. The latter are advocating for the institution of mechanisms for obtaining feedback from citizens about the quality of water delivery.