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Shared Waters, Shared Opportunities

Hydropolitics in East Africa

Bernard Calas, C.A. Mumma Martinon

Publication Year: 2010

The importance of watercourses to human life and development cannot be overemphasised. From communication, trade, agriculture and the location of human settlements, they have played an immeasurable role. Almost 60% of Africa lies within shared rivers and lake basins. The Nile is shared by more than seven nations, the Zambezi by six, and the Congo by nine. With populations on the rise, many countries have been labeled ëwater scarceí nations, and in fifteen years it is predicted that many people on earth will be exposed to water shortage consequences such as famine and disease. Thirteen African nations already suffer ëwater stressí and soon another twelve will join the list unless something is done to thwart the problem. On March 20, 2009 in Nairobi, Hekima College collaborated with Jesuit Hakimani Centre and the French Institute for Research in Africa (IFRA) to host the Hekima College Water Day Academic Seminar with the theme ìShared Waters, Shared Opportunitiesî. This book is the result of critical research and presentations by internationally renowned scholars, researchers and experts, and students of the Institute of Peace Studies and International RelationsóHekima College. For most of 2009 Kenya suffered severe problems caused by flooding which took many lives and destroyed homes and important infrastructures. It highlighted the issues of water management and water conflicts, not only in Kenya but in other parts of East Africa, as it was made abundantly clear that not only scarcity of water, but excess water, incorrectly managed, can be disastrous. This timely, scholarly book presents discussions of the issues which underlie the major water crises in the region. They open the debate into the water problems of Kenya and East Africa in an effort to join the global campaign to find solutions to these difficulties.

Published by: African Books Collective

Title Page

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Copyright Page

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p. viii-viii

Profound appreciation to the following persons who greatly assisted in the realisation of this publication. For editorial work: Zacharia Chiliswa Ndanu Mung’ala Delphine Lebrun...

List of Contributors

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pp. ix-x

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Introduction. Water and Life

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pp. 1-16

The importance of watercourses to human life and development cannot be overemphasised. Throughout human development, watercourses have played a major role as the medium of communication, trade, agriculture, fishing, recreation, tourism, culture...

SECTION ONE. Conflicts and Management

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Competing Models of Water Resource Management and Their Implications Using the Example of Pangani River Basin in Tanzania

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pp. 19-36

From the first part of the 1990s one saw many calls to give attention to problems of water scarcity1 and an apparently emerging global water crisis2. This debate led to the emergence of an ‘international consensus’ over key principles for sound water - management, based...

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Trans-boundary River Basins. Hydropolitics in the Horn of Africa

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pp. 37-52

Water – a basic human necessity is a critical resource for all aspects of human existence, environmental survival, economic development and good quality of life. Freshwater is one of the most essential of the elements that support human life and economic growth...

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Nile Basin Initiative: A Possibility of Turning Conflicts into Opportunities

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pp. 53-64

River Nile, the longest in the world, is a vital source of water for millions of people in the North Eastern region of Africa. It flows from south to north, 6,825 kilometres over 35 degrees of latitude.1 The Nile catchment basin covers approximately a tenth of the African continent...

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Managing Trans-Boundary Water Conflicts on Lake Victoria with Reference to Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania

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pp. 65-76

Lake Victoria is a shared water resource and confrontation on any of its islands or beaches has the potential to manifest itself as an internationalized conflict in the region. The cross-border conflicts on Lake Victoria are part of a conflict system whose epicenter has...

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An Attempt Towards Management: An Examination of the Existing Institutional Frameworks in the Lake Victoria Region

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pp. 77-82

This paper is an attempt to describe the various institutions that manage Lake Victoria. The description of various institutions points out a common platform where various countries, particularly Eastern...

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National Waters. Kenya National Water Policy

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pp. 83-96

Policy is a set of principles which is used as a basis for making decisions to further certain objectives. Almost any institution, whether public or private, operating for profit or voluntary, requires a policy to guide its operations and provide a frame of reference for its members...

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Water Sector Reforms in Kenya: Institutional Set-up, Impact and Challenges in Urban Water Supply

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pp. 97-112

Like other countries in sub-Saharan Africa, Kenya’s socio-economic development goals are highly dependent on the availability of water in good quantity and quality. The government’s long-term objective is to ensure that all Kenyans have access to clean potable water...

SECTION TWO. Management and Practices

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Urban Water. Strategies for Industrial Water Management in Kenya: Loopholes in the Existing Institutional Arrangement

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pp. 115-128

Water is an important input in both manufacturing and industrial processes. In the total use of public water in Kenya, industry is still a minor user, only consuming 4% of the public water supply. The relatively small industrial water use however masks substantial...

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The Setbacks of Mismanaged Urbanisation: Pollution of Rivers in Nairobi

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pp. 129-146

Water resources in Nairobi are currently a critical issue. Supplies are limited in terms of quantity and quality, while demand increases due to population growth and economic development. Water shortages, sometimes called “city droughts”, have been widespread...

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The Potential of Grass-roots Leadership in Water Management in Fringe Communities: The Case of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

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pp. 147-172

With rapid urbanisation in poverty, the provision of infrastructure and services is not given priority by most homebuilders in the fringe areas of most urban centres including Dar es Salaam.1 As time goes by, subdivision of plots and development of houses continues without...

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Water Vending in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

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pp. 173-184

The general model of urban water supply pictures water utility delivering water to all the residents of a city. However, in developing countries, it is most often the case that only a part of the population actually receives this service. In practice, access to water distribution networks...

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Irrigation. Local Irrigation Projects in North Western Kenya, Conceptual Frameworks and Development Practices: The Missing Links

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pp. 185-200

Governments and other development operators have been supporting the creation of irrigation schemes in North-Western Kenya for the last 30 years. Such wellplanned projects are meant to enhance food self-sufficiency, promote economical diversification, increase rural incomes...

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A Happy Marriage of Traditional and Modern Knowledge -Shallow Wells: A Sustainable and Inexpensive Alternative to Boreholes in Kenya?

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pp. 201-218

Worldwide, the use of water is rising faster than the growth of the world population. In the 1900-90 periods the world population increased from 1.7 billion to 5.5 billion people while the total consumption of water went up by a factor 10 from 500 to 5,000 cubic kilometers...

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The Large-Scale Irrigation Potential of the Lower Rufiji Floodplain: Reality or Persistent Myth?

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pp. 219-234

The Rufiji River Basin is located entirely in Tanzania and drains some 180,000 km2, about a fifth of mainland Tanzania. The river has a strong seasonal flow pattern, with a flood peak around April. With an annual mean flow of 800 cubic meters per second, it is one...

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Irrigation among the Chagga in Kilimanjaro, Tanzania: The Organisation of Mfongo Irrigation

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pp. 235-260

The southern slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro, the world’s largest free-standing mountain and rising to 5985 m in north-east Tanzania, constitute a green and moist oasis surrounded by a semi-arid low plain. From the early Iron Age1 onwards, the mountain provided refuge...

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The Importance of Flexibility :An Analysis of the Large-Scale Tana-Delta Irrigation Project in Kenya, Implemented Under an Estate System

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pp. 261-282

Although history has always been driven by “change”, it seems that precisely “change” has also been the challenge to development. The constant evolution of the environment is the essence of sustainability, but also its major constraint. This is equally true for the evolution...

Back Cover

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p. 283-283

E-ISBN-13: 9789987081349
Print-ISBN-13: 9789987080922

Page Count: 294
Illustrations: b/w
Publication Year: 2010

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Water-supply -- Africa, East -- Management.
  • Water-supply -- Political aspects -- Africa, East.
  • Water resources development -- Africa, East.
  • Water resources development -- Political aspects -- Africa, East.
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