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.


  • Upcoming: 3rd Round of Data Collection, September-November 2018
  • Upcoming: LINGS Stakeholder Workshop in Windhoek, November 28, 2018
  • 7/2018 Conference at the University of Hamburg: „In troubled Waters“ – Find the Conference Programme including Abstracts here.
  • 6/2018 Panel (Menestrey & Olwage): The panel „Glocal (Dis)connections of Values, Ideals, and Practices of Water Management in Africa“ will take place at the VAD on African Connections, 27-30 June, Leizig University.
  • 5/2018 LINGS hosts a panel at the Inaugural Conference of the IGU commission on African studies, May 17-18,  University of Namibia.
  • 3/2018 Talk (Schnegg): „Global Policies and Micro-Politics of Water in Rural Namibia“, SEA Annual Conference 2018 „Water and Economy“, March 1-3, Arizona State University.
  • 2/2018 Media: Internet presentation has been successfully relaunched.
  • 11/2017: We welcome David Parduhn as a new LINGS member.