Wielding water in unwilling works: negotiated management of water scarcity in Nyanyadzi irrigation scheme, winter 1995
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This chapter analyzes how a state agency, Agritex, tries to cope with water scarcity in a smallholder irrigation scheme that is complex and difficult to manage, and that has been marred by scarcities since its outset. It does so by looking at the practices of the people involved in the management of the Nyanyadzi irrigation scheme during the winter season of 1995. irrigation management entails the control of infrastructure, managers and the local population, which together results in some kind of control of the movements of water (cf. Bolding etal., 1995). However, different infrastructural ‘improvements’, that were implemented in Nyanyadzi scheme over the years with a view to increasing the scheme’s water supply, have actually increased the complexity of controlling water flows through gates and canals. -A government-imposed (farmer) Irrigation Management Committee (IMC) has replaced the former farmer representative body that was known as the ‘Kraalhead Committee’, and finds itself in the middle ground of a complex field of government departments and their staff, and the various groups of originators trying to manage the „ scheme. The sheer number of people involved in management, as well as the imposed character of the IMC, have certainly not made things easier in controlling the operation of the scheme.