Edited by David Pearce, Corin Pearce and Charles Palmer
Chapter 5: Valuing dry land water supply in Zimbabwe
5. Valuing dryland water supply in Zimbabwe Dominic Waughray, Dominic Moran and Chris Lovell 1 INTRODUCTION The lack of reliable and good-quality water sources is one of the principal constraints on development in many dryland areas in southern Africa (Harrison, 1992, Cleaver and Schreiber, 1994, Scoones et al., 1996). For example, in south-east Zimbabwe, surveys have shown that 32 per cent of people still rely on relatively unsafe water from unprotected wells, rivers, streams and dams and that 73 per cent of people walk at least 500 metres to their nearest source of water (CSO, 1993). As in many dryland areas, scarce water resources in southern Africa are not only used for drinking, washing and cooking; water uses in the region take many forms, including kitchen garden irrigation, livestock watering and as inputs to other income-generating projects. In short, water in southern Africa, as in most other dryland areas, has multiple economic uses as well as multiple users (Meinzen Dick, 1997). This important property of water as an economic good, an input to many aspects of people’s dryland livelihood strategies, is not often conceptualized within rural water project design. Often rural water projects maintain a focus on the supply side of the proposed initiative – getting more water out of the ground – rather than on examining the potential beneﬁts of the project, or the most eﬃcient uses that the enhanced water supply can be put to. Between 1990 and 1994, the UK Overseas Development Agency (now the Department for...
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