How is Integrated Water Resources Management Working at the Local Level? Perspectives from the Black Volta Basin of the Lawra District, Ghana

Issaka Kanton Osumanu, Augustine Yelfaanibe, Sylvester Zackaria Galaa


In recent years, freshwater resources are under intense pressure to satisfy the needs of water users and it has become increasingly clear that the water problems of an area can no longer be resolved exclusively by the water professionals, and/or the water management institutions, alone. Current thinking is that integrated water resources management (IWRM) will solve the water problems. This paper examines the IWRM process in Ghana with a focus on how different institutions and users view the approach and the extent to which actors in the process interact using the Black Volta Basin (BVB) in the Lawra District of Ghana. Data for the study was collected through focus group discussions and in-depth interviews after a community institutional resource mapping approach has been used to identify stakeholders in the IWRM process. The findings reveal a complex web of interactions and networking that occur between and among different institutions and actors. Whereas there is strong interaction and networking among traditional leaders and also between external actors and local structures as well as that of resources owners and water users, that of existing interactions and networks between the traditional authority structure, the external agents and resource owners was found to be weak. The paper concludes that IWRM implementation in the basin has been constrained by the lack of a consistent understanding of the process and differences in real-life political and social, factors and recommends that planning for IWRM should not be done in isolation from practical differences at the local level.

Keywords: Efficiency, Institutions, Integration, Management, Water Resources  

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3216 ISSN (Online)2225-0948

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