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Book Book Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Wasting the rain: rivers, people and planning in Africa
Author:Adams, W.M.ISNI
City of publisher:London
Geographic term:Subsaharan Africa
Subjects:water management
Abstract:In many parts of Africa drought seems to be a permanent feature. Many attempts have been made to develop water resources in sub-Saharan Africa through dams and irrigation systems, but these have very often failed. After an introductory chapter, ch. 2 discusses the ways in which outsiders have viewed and understood Africa and the impacts their intervention has had. It also discusses the development of African economies, the changing patterns of African agriculture, and indigenous technical knowledge, skills and organization. Ch. 3 treats the environment, rainfall and rivers, the ways in which Africans use their drylands, and the ways in which pastoralism and agriculture are adapted to drought and rainfall variability. Ch. 4 looks at the ways in which people use rivers and floodplain wetlands, and the importance of wetlands for fishing and grazing. Ch. 5 discusses river basin planning and the problems connected with methods imported from elsewhere. Ch. 6 discusses dam construction, population resettlement, the impact of dams on floods downstream and the technical methods used to appraise projects. Ch. 7 treats irrigation, the experience of both large-scale irrigation projects in different African countries in the 1970s, and of small-scale irrigation schemes, and the reasons why both are often unsuccessful. The final chapter explores alternatives to large-scale centrally planned development, and also pleads for a total break with the hierarchical top-down outsider-dominated planning.