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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Water Scarcity, Property Regimes and Irrigation Management in Sonjo, Tanzania
Authors:Potkanski, Tomasz
Adams, William M.
Periodical:Journal of Development Studies
Geographic term:Tanzania
land law
water management
Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment
Development and Technology
Abstract:Indigenous irrigation systems are often studied from a synchronic perspective and therefore viewed as static and unchanging. Studies by anthropologists and political scientists usually focus on management patterns and rules regulating access to water at the time of study. However, the long-term survival of indigenous irrigation systems depends on their adjustment to change. This article deals with the social dynamics of water management and ownership among the Sonjo, a small Bantu-speaking agropastoral community who live in northern Tanzania in the Sale Division of the Ngorongoro District of the Arusha region. They inhabit the hills between the Loliondo and Ngorongoro highlands. Research was carried out at intervals in the period 1985-1993. The article explores the dynamics of property rights in irrigation water. It describes an unsuccessful attempt by the ruling political group to change the institutional arrangements of collective water control in favour of their private interests, seeks to find out why this process took place in some, but not all, Sonjo communities, and why the move eventually failed. The case study shows that not all internal institutional innovations in the field of utilizing natural resources lead to increased efficiency of the system from the point of view of the whole community. Bibliogr., notes, sum. in English.