Dynamic relationships between formal and informal institutions in governance of water resources: a case of Ruaha Sub – Basin, Tanzania

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University of Dar es Salaam
This study set out to examine the dynamic relationships between formal and informal water institutions in governance of water resources and its implications on water accessibility and control by the local communities in Ruaha Sub-Basin, Tanzania. The study employed case study design whereby three study areas were involved to represent the upper, middle and lower sub-catchments of the Ruaha Sub-Basin. Five techniques were used to obtain empirical data in this study: questionnaires, interviews, Focused Group Discussions (FGDs), documentary review and observations. Qualitative data were analysed using the thematic framework approach whereas quantitative data were analysed statistically using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) software version 20. The findings of this study revealed that in Ruaha Sub-Basin both formal and informal systems guided the access and control of water resources among the local communities. However, the trend towards dominance of formal institutions for water related interactions was very clear; and some of the informal arrangements were formalized and integrated into formal water governance arrangements. This brought different implications to the different groups of local communities in terms of their water accessibility and control. Holders of formal water use permits both group and private holders had relatively more access to water. On the other hand, pastoralists and valley bottoms peasants (non owners of water use permits) were on the losing side in terms of water accessibility following the introduction of formal institutions in water governance at the community level. Water User Associations (WUAs) could be appropriate vehicle through which the local communities could exercise control and participate in water related decision making process. However, the current internal and external problems facing most of WUAs turned the local communities into the losing control of their water resources. Based on these findings, it was recommended that Basin Water Authorities in this case Rufiji Basin Water Officers (RBWOs) should develop sound water resources management and development strategies which put the vulnerable groups first in water accessibility and control. Also, the study recommends that for WUAs to become effective vehicle through which local communities can have access to and control of water resources, the government through the Ministry of Water and Irrigation and the Ministry of Agriculture should provide financial and technical assistance to WUAs so that they can stop confining themselves to irrigation agriculture water use only. Instead, WUAs should expand their water systems so as to accommodate majority of different groups of water users including the pastoralists. It is further recommended that pastoralists should be assisted to initiate some kind of pastoralists’ water user associations. Through the associations, pastoralists can not only be able to attract financial and technical support to construct permanent livestock watering points, but also the associations could become instrumental for negotiations with other water user groups within the basin.
Available in printed form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class mark (THS EAF R8K33)
Water resources development, Ruaha Sub-basin, Tanzania
Kahimba, J (2018) Dynamic relationships between formal and informal institutions in governance of water resources: a case of Ruaha Sub – Basin, Tanzania.Doctoral dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam, Dar es Salaam.