African countries should ‘decolonise’ water, recognise customary rights – report


African governments should recognise customary rights to water for millions of farmers who have been sidelined or “criminalised” by permit systems. File Image: IOL

NAIROBI – African governments should recognise customary rights to water for millions of small farmers who have been sidelined or “criminalised” by permit systems created during the colonial era, said a report published on Monday.

Restrictive permit systems in Kenya, Malawi, South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe have left more than 100 million people without access to enough water, according to the report by the Sri Lanka-based International Water Management Institute (IWMI).

Those countries should “decolonise statutory water law through a hybrid approach”, according to the report.

A hybrid system that recognises both…

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