Allocation and use of water for domestic and productive purposes: an exploratory study from the Letaba river catchment
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In this thesis, I explore the allocation and use of water for productive and domestic purposes in the village of Siyandhani in the Klein Letaba sub-area, and how the allocation and use is being affected by new water resource management and water services provision legislation and policies in the context of water reform. This problem is worth studying because access to water for domestic and productive purposes is a critical dimension of poverty alleviation.The study focuses in particular on the extent to which policy objectives of greater equity in resource allocation and poverty alleviation are being achieved at local level with the following specific objectives: to establish water resources availability in Letaba/Shingwedzi sub-region, specifically surface and groundwater and examine water uses by different sectors (e.g. agriculture, industry, domestic, forestry etc.,); to explore the dynamics of existing formal and informal institutions for water resources management and water services provision and the relationship between and among them; to investigate the practice of allocation and use of domestic water; to investigate the practice of allocation and use of irrigation water.The study concludes that there is a problem of water scarcity in the study area and that the water scarcity is caused by the growth in the population, specifically in the Giyani area; these problems are exacerbated by financial and institutional obstacles within local institutions of governance. The water scarcity is not, therefore, natural but anthropogenic in nature.The water scarcity is not felt by all sectors, however: some farmers have access to water for irrigation, while many others face great challenges in their farming activities.Overall, people in Siyandhani and surrounding villages surrounding villages in the Letaba Catchment do not have access to water because of human action, hence the use of the concept of manufactured scarcity. The lack of access to water, it is argued,leads to the violation of the human right to water. This study concludes that water reform, which is widely seen as a priority for South Africa, has not yet reached the villages of the Klein Letaba.
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