Decentralised water governance in Zimbabwe: Disorder within order uri icon

abstract

  • The Decentralised Water reform process in Zimbabwe has largely been informed by the Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) process based on the 1992 Dublin Principles onWater. The attempt to reform one sector (water), under the IWRM rubric, when other key sectors are in disarray (agriculture, energy) and when social and government institutions, in general, are not functioning as they should, made it more complicated. The decentralised water reform process, with support from a number of donors, was perceived to be a technical process which would result in better water management in Zimbabwe. The research in Zimbabwe, however, shows that instead of establishing order within the water sector, the reform process has largely been disorderly since it downplays the political nature of the water reform process. In attempting to change the water legislation, the reform brought out the different and competing interests on water. The economic crisis, the contested land reform process that ensued, resulted in disorder which benefited those who are politically connected. This paper contributes to the scholarship on the need to have a better political economy approach to development interventions such as water reform as they have to play out in political, social and economic contexts which will impact on human livelihoods

publication date

  • 2016
  • 2016
  • 2016