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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Water, Rules and Gender: Water Rights in an Indigenous Irrigation System, Marakwet, Kenya
Authors:Adams, William M.ISNI
Watson, Elizabeth E.ISNI
Mutiso, Samuel K.
Periodical:Development and Change (ISSN 0012-155X)
Geographic term:Kenya
Subjects:water management
Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment
Development and Technology
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Law, Human Rights and Violence
Law, Legal Issues, and Human Rights
Cultural Roles
External link:https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-7660.00061
Abstract:The management of indigenous irrigation systems has received increasing attention both from social science researchers and from those development agents who seek to change them, or to find in them a model for organizing newly developed irrigation schemes. This article discusses how water is allocated within one such indigenous irrigation system, the hill furrow irrigation of the Marakwet escarpment in Kenya, where research was carried out in 1992-1993. It describes the 'formal rules' governing water rights, giving particular attention to the issue of gender. It then discusses the 'working rules' relevant to water allocation, which involve various informal practices of sharing, buying and stealing. Through such means, women are able to obtain water despite lacking a formal allowance in their own right, and men are able to adjust the timing and size of their allowance to fit their needs. The implications of this complexity for understanding the operation of indigenous farmer-managed irrigation systems are examined. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum.