LINGS’ core focus is to study the local institutional dynamics and socioeconomic consequences generated through state decentralization reforms targeting rural water-management within the communal farming areas of the Kunene region, north-western Namibia. Since the mid-1990s and shaped by global ideas of community-based management, participation and the assessment of water as an economic good, the local water infrastructure (wells, pumps, borehole installations) has been handed over to the rural farming population. As a consequence, hundreds of pastoral communities needed to establish committees and associations as well as specific sets of rules in order to obtain rights to collectively manage local water-supply. Applying a longitudinal and comparative anthropological perspective, the research team explores how the communities govern water and what kind of institutions develop, how they are shaped by local perspectives and global policies, and what social, economic and political consequences they have.


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