The majority of people in Limpopo river basin depend on rainfed agriculture. Unfortunately the Limpopo is water scarce, and parts of the basin, such as Zimbabwe’s Mzingwane catchment, are under stress in terms of agro-ecological and socio-politicoeconomic conditions. Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) has been adopted in the river basin in an attempt to improve water resources management. However, it is not known whether, or how, IWRM has improved practices in water resources management and contributed towards improved livelihoods.
This study used a bottom-up approach to analyse water management practices and livelihoods in the river basin. The objective of the study was to understand practices in water resources management at the local level, and what drives those practices. Specifically the study analysed: practices in access to water for domestic and productive uses, efforts at sustaining livelihoods and the environment, water management for agriculture, contestations over urban water services, and river basin planning. The study showed the importance of context as a driver of practices in water resources management. The demonstrated influence of local level drivers on water resources management and livelihoods suggest that the challenges in water resources management cannot be solved outside of the wider socio-politico-economic realm.
1. Introduction 2: An overview of water resources management in Zimbabwe 3: Integrated Water Resources Management and livelihoods: do they meet? 4: Dynamics and complexities of practices in local water management in Zimbabwe in the IWRM era 5: Livelihood strategies and environmental management in the Zhulube micro-catchment 6: Sowing seeds of hope: the case of conservation agriculture in the smallholder farming sector 7: Contestations and coalitions in urban water supply: the state, the city and the politics of water in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe 8: Processes in river basin planning: the case of the Limpopo river basin in Zimbabwe 9: Conclusions and Recommendations
IHE Delft PhD programme leads to a deepening of a field of specialisation. PhD fellows do scientific research, often with conclusions that directly influence their region. At IHE Delft, PhD researchers from around the world participate in problem-focused and solution-oriented research on development issues, resulting in an inspiring research environment. PhD fellows work together with other researchers from many countries dealing with topics related to water and the environment.
PhD research is often carried out in the ‘sandwich’ model. Preparation and final reporting – the first and last portion of the programme – are carried out in Delft, while actual research is done in the fellow’s home country, under co-supervision of a local institute. Regular contacts with the promotor are maintained through visits and long-distance communication. This enables researchers to employ solutions directly to problems in their geographical region.
IHE Delft PhD degrees are awarded jointly with a university. The degrees are highly valued and fully recognised in all parts of the world.