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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Power of a Few: Bureaucratic Decision-Making in the Okavango Delta
Author:Neme, Laurel A.
Periodical:Journal of Modern African Studies
Geographic term:Botswana
Subjects:water management
Development and Technology
Politics and Government
Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/162053
Abstract:The Okavango Delta has often been seen by the government of Botswana and international donors as underutilized and ripe for development. Hence the major project proposed in the early 1980s by the Department of Water Affairs (DWA), the Southern Okavango Integrated Water Development Project (SOWP). The project involved dredging the Boro River and storing the increased flow in three reservoirs - near Maun, at Matlapaneng, and at Sukwane, with each benefitting a different interest. Nearly a decade later, after both local and global protests, the project was suspended. This article examines how a small group of State bureaucrats was able to control the decisionmaking process, and discusses the implications of this hegemony. It is based on research undertaken in Botswana during 1991-1993 that included over 150 interviews with the members of a wide range of organizations in the public, parastatal and private sectors. Notes, ref.