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Title Rural water supply in Namibia: effects on natural resource management and livelihoods

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Short title Water management

Author(s) Bock, B.; Falk, T.; Kirk, M.

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Institution(s) University of Marburg; Department of Business Administration and Economics; Institute for Cooperation in Developing Countries

Keywords Water institutions, decentralisation, livelihoods, pricing systems, Namibia

Abstract Calls for new paradigms in water resource management have emerged from a broad range of commentators over the past decade. These calls arose as it became increasingly clear that the pressing problems in the water resource management have to be tackled from an integrated perspective, taking into account interdependent economic, societal, environmental, institutional and technological factors. Adhering to the calls, Namibia introduced various development and management approaches involving water, land and related resources with the objective of maximizing the resultant economic and social welfare in an equitable manner and without compromising the sustainability of vital rural ecosystems. Integrated management systems pursue the democratization of water resources through increased stakeholder participation.

This poster shows how newly formed collective action institutions which form a part of a recently introduced rural water supply reform impact on the natural resources management in three communal areas of Namibia. The analysis takes into account effects of the historic lack of decision-making power over natural resources of the rural communities on the management of their newly acquired rights and responsibilities. Moreover, the shift from perceiving water as a free public good to valuing it as an economic good by means of introducing a full cost-recovery facet, calls for an analysis of reform effects on household livelihoods.

Congress Topic Land use, impact and value

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Ref. No. 578