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Okangwati Area

Researcher: Diego Menestrey

 

As a consequence of the water decentralization measures in Namibia since independence, rural communities have become responsible for the operation and management of their own water points, including dealing with financial matters. Against this background, the aim of my study is to investigate what kind of institutions are developed by the users in relation to their water points, how these institutions are set up and how they change over time, and what consequences they have for the local community. The aim is to understand how the socio-political and economic structures and belief systems at the local level shape the process of institutional emergence and change.

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Fransfontein Area

Researcher: Richard Kiaka, Theresa Linke

 

My ethnographic research took place in the arid region of southern Kunene. On communal land surrounding the village of Fransfontein (approx. 137 households) three communities were chosen for long-term fieldwork. Over a period of 13 months, I stayed in the settlements of Tsaraxa-aibes, Garettes and Petrusfontein, which range in size from 9 to 17 households. They are surrounded by grazing land and are located near a drilled borehole that supplies water for livestock and human consumption. There is no public infrastructure on the communal land. Schools, a health clinic and further facilities can be found in Fransfontein or in the small town of Khorixas, situated about 20 kilometres south.

 

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Otwani Area

Researcher: Elsemi Olwage, Kathrin Gradt

 

My research project deals with institutions of collective rural water management in general, and particularly scrutinizes gender and generation relations within its daily practice. I conducted ethnographic research in three neighbouring villages in the area of Otwani between November 2010 and November 2011. The villages, the populations of which mainly consist of members of the Ovaherero people, are situated halfway between Sesfontein and Opuwo, the administrative and economic centre of the northern Kunene region, and vary by size between thirteen and seventeen homesteads.

 

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Traveling Models

Researcher: Thekla Kelbert

 

The aim of this case study is, initially, to focus on the processes and discourses framing the political decisions which led to the far-reaching water sector reforms in Namibia that began in the 1990s. The intention is then to produce an account of the way in which the concepts and models decided upon were and are being translated and transformed between international, national, regional and local scales, and how they impact upon the way water is being managed by rural communities in Kunene.

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