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Home > Basin > Limpopo > African Models of Transboundary Governance (PN47)


The African Models of Transboundary Water Governance project brought together a diverse group of researchers, implementers, students and communities to help discover how local level natural resource management strategies could be scaled up to the transnational level. This approach or methodology was a clear example of ‘outside the box thinking’ and challenged all participants to think in terms of how other stakeholders act, and what their stakes may be in natural resources management. While the original intent of the project was to relate to the transnational level, the project team took some liberties with the term transboundary and explored which boundaries matter in the case of water resources management. Looking at existing literature, water courses themselves are often boundaries, and on the other hand, are often chains or strings that bind different communities of users together. The ultimate definition of boundaries was left to country-project teams to discern. Therefore, most country case studies present cases that revolve around either a common water source (see Zimbabwe and Botswana cases for example) or communities of users (Ghana and Mozambique), where boundaries existed between access and use rights.

Generally speaking, the findings suggest that it is very difficult to link or integrate local level decisions to higher levels, let alone cross national boundaries. Once nation states get involved, local level water users are, by and large, so far removed from the picture as to be aggregated to the level of ‘users’, thereby masking their diversity of needs and approaches to managing their resources. Overcoming this fundamental disconnect may best be done by an approach that focuses on sharing benefits rather than sovereign states protecting their part of the pie. However, how best to manage common natural resources in the face of increasing population and climatic pressure is becoming a more pressing issue, at the global scale.

Publications and Outputs

To view all outputs from project PN47 visit our document repository.

Project Outputs

Bachelors students

·         Masasi, B., 2007, Estimation of soil water availability for a maize crop grown in upland fields in Marami Communal Lands, Beitbridge District., BSc theses submitted to Department of Soil Science and Agricultural Engineering, University of Zimbabwe, 2007.

·         Masimba,O., 2007, Estimation of soil water availability for a maize crop in the Shashe Floodplain, Beitbridge District, BSc theses submitted to Department of Soil Science and Agricultural Engineering, University of Zimbabwe, 2007.

Masters students

·         Duiker, A., 2006, Opportunities for stakeholder participation in integrated catchment management A study on the participation of women in the Klein Letaba sub-catchment, SA.  Wageningen University. 2006

·         Mensah, I O, 2007,Indigenous strategies in water pollution control: A case study of Battor and Aveyime in the Lower Volta Basin.  University of Legon, Ghana.  2007

·         Ayertey,G., 2007, Indigenous water management in Tolon Kumbungu: Towards sustainable livelihoods.  University of Legon, Ghana.  2007

·         Tsotso,V., 2007, Gender dimensions of indigenous water practices and its influences on small scale industrial activities in the Upper and Lower Volta Basins.  University of Legon, Ghana.  2007

·         Dissa, A., 2006,Study of the community management of reservoir water: The case of fishermen of Sourou (French).  University of Bobo Dioulasso, Burkina Faso. 2006

·         Konseiga, R., 2007, Dynamique des acteurs et gestion de l’eau d’irrigation sur la rive gauche de l’amenagement hydro-agricole de Bagre au Burkina Faso. Universite de Cheik Anta Diop, Dakar Senegal. 2007

·         Some, K., 2007, Impacts des activities agricoles sur la qualite des eaux de surface dans le Nakanbe, cas des reservoires de Lumbila et de Mogtedo.  Universite de Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.  2007

·         Konate, L., 2008, Impact of water management strategies on economic activities and social relations of users: Case of the Vallee du Kou (Burkina Faso).  University of Ouagadougou. 2008.

·         Mukamba, T., 2005, The interface of indigenous and modern knowledge in the practice of flood plain agriculture in Shashe Village in Beitbridge District.  University of Zimbabwe.  2005

·         Nyamwanza, 2005, Water management and indigenous knowledge systems for improved livelihoods in Zimbabwe: a case study of Sibasa Dam in Filabusi.  University of Zimbabwe.  2005

·         Thabethe, N., 2007, Transformation in the Eastern Soutpansberg Region’s water sector: The role of public participation and local knowledge.  University of Cape Town. 2007


·         Ampomah, B, Continuing study, University of Legon, Ghana

For more information on Phase 1 outputs please contact Udana Ariyawansa.