Irrigation development and water resource management
Matondi, Prosper B.
Munyuki-Hungwe, Mabel N.
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In tropical and sub-tropical regions water is a highly variable natural resource subject to seasonal as well as long-term climatic changes. In Zimbabwe rainfall is the single most important climatic factor affecting crop production. The struggle for access to and use of water resources is regarded as the second most important conflict after land (Matiza-Chiuta, 2000). Smallholder irrigation has always had a political dimension as it embodies land and water, two of the most contentious issues in Zimbabwean history (Rukuni, 1984). Water access tensions are omnipresent between smallholders, large-scale farmers and users. " The problems in the water sector include: competition for a scarce and finite resource between and among large-scale and smallholder farmers; poor water resource management; declining quality of the limited resource; disappearance of expensive irrigation infrastructure during the land transfers; competition for state-generated finance; lack of a common policy or benchmark by which to judge actions in the sector; a narrow band of stakeholder involvement in the sector; too little coordination; and recurrent drought.