n Transactions of the Royal Society of South Africa - Stakeholders’ perceptions on water resources management in the Okavango Delta, Botswana - research

Volume 74 Number 3
  • ISSN : 0035-919X
  • E-ISSN: 2154-0098
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Cultural perceptions are an integral part of rural water resources governance, which ostensibly conflict with urban water resources management. Issues of access to water and culturally embedded gender roles are rife in water governance debates. Notwithstanding the importance of cultural perceptions in water management, no study has been undertaken to assess stakeholders’ perceptions on customary and statutory water management institutions and their impact on water management issues in the Okavango Delta. Guided by the cultural lag concept, a purposive sampling technique was used to select three villages (Shakawe, Tubu and Shorobe) in the study area. While 455 household heads were randomly selected to elicit pertinent socio-economic and cultural data via a questionnaire survey, an expert purposive sampling technique was used to select nine key informants from whom in-depth information on the subject was obtained. The results indicated that local people’s perceptions of cultural water management practices were mostly tied to their belief systems even though the existing management strategy is grossly sympathetic towards statutory water management institutions. The paper recommends the blending of customary and statutory water management institutions and placing both of them on the same pedestal in the management of water resources in the Okavango Delta and other, similar social-ecological milieus.

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