Sand in the Engine: The Travails of an Irrigated Rice Scheme in Bwanje Valley, Malawi

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    27 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The establishment of the Bwanje Valley Irrigation Scheme (BVIS) in Malawi is a striking example of informed amnesia in development assistance. Despite the lessons learned earlier concerning a process approach to participatory irrigation development in Africa, in the case of BVIS outside interveners designed an irrigation system and parachuted it into Bwanje Valley as a black-boxed technology. Using a sociotechnical approach, this article analyses the travails of this irrigation scheme, showing that the conventional irrigation factory mindset is ill-suited for creating durable water networks. Achieving tangible improvements in rural livelihoods is better served by the interactive prototyping of water networks in situ, ensuring that new irrigation schemes are embedded in existing landscapes and complementary to existing livelihood strategies rather than supplanting them.
    LanguageEnglish
    Pages197-226
    JournalJournal of Development Studies
    Volume45
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2009

    Fingerprint

    Malawi
    irrigation
    engine
    rice
    valley
    sand
    livelihood
    water
    irrigation system
    factory
    assistance

    Keywords

    • colonial irrigation
    • water management
    • agriculture
    • technology
    • africa
    • independence
    • policy

    Cite this

    @article{c8e35883561b4b7898a515fa09201c20,
    title = "Sand in the Engine: The Travails of an Irrigated Rice Scheme in Bwanje Valley, Malawi",
    abstract = "The establishment of the Bwanje Valley Irrigation Scheme (BVIS) in Malawi is a striking example of informed amnesia in development assistance. Despite the lessons learned earlier concerning a process approach to participatory irrigation development in Africa, in the case of BVIS outside interveners designed an irrigation system and parachuted it into Bwanje Valley as a black-boxed technology. Using a sociotechnical approach, this article analyses the travails of this irrigation scheme, showing that the conventional irrigation factory mindset is ill-suited for creating durable water networks. Achieving tangible improvements in rural livelihoods is better served by the interactive prototyping of water networks in situ, ensuring that new irrigation schemes are embedded in existing landscapes and complementary to existing livelihood strategies rather than supplanting them.",
    keywords = "colonial irrigation, water management, agriculture, technology, africa, independence, policy",
    author = "G.J.A. Veldwisch and J.A. Bolding and P. Wester",
    note = "powerpoint",
    year = "2009",
    doi = "10.1080/00220380802265587",
    language = "English",
    volume = "45",
    pages = "197--226",
    journal = "Journal of Development Studies",
    issn = "0022-0388",
    publisher = "Taylor & Francis",
    number = "2",

    }

    Sand in the Engine: The Travails of an Irrigated Rice Scheme in Bwanje Valley, Malawi. / Veldwisch, G.J.A.; Bolding, J.A.; Wester, P.

    In: Journal of Development Studies, Vol. 45, No. 2, 2009, p. 197-226.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Sand in the Engine: The Travails of an Irrigated Rice Scheme in Bwanje Valley, Malawi

    AU - Veldwisch, G.J.A.

    AU - Bolding, J.A.

    AU - Wester, P.

    N1 - powerpoint

    PY - 2009

    Y1 - 2009

    N2 - The establishment of the Bwanje Valley Irrigation Scheme (BVIS) in Malawi is a striking example of informed amnesia in development assistance. Despite the lessons learned earlier concerning a process approach to participatory irrigation development in Africa, in the case of BVIS outside interveners designed an irrigation system and parachuted it into Bwanje Valley as a black-boxed technology. Using a sociotechnical approach, this article analyses the travails of this irrigation scheme, showing that the conventional irrigation factory mindset is ill-suited for creating durable water networks. Achieving tangible improvements in rural livelihoods is better served by the interactive prototyping of water networks in situ, ensuring that new irrigation schemes are embedded in existing landscapes and complementary to existing livelihood strategies rather than supplanting them.

    AB - The establishment of the Bwanje Valley Irrigation Scheme (BVIS) in Malawi is a striking example of informed amnesia in development assistance. Despite the lessons learned earlier concerning a process approach to participatory irrigation development in Africa, in the case of BVIS outside interveners designed an irrigation system and parachuted it into Bwanje Valley as a black-boxed technology. Using a sociotechnical approach, this article analyses the travails of this irrigation scheme, showing that the conventional irrigation factory mindset is ill-suited for creating durable water networks. Achieving tangible improvements in rural livelihoods is better served by the interactive prototyping of water networks in situ, ensuring that new irrigation schemes are embedded in existing landscapes and complementary to existing livelihood strategies rather than supplanting them.

    KW - colonial irrigation

    KW - water management

    KW - agriculture

    KW - technology

    KW - africa

    KW - independence

    KW - policy

    U2 - 10.1080/00220380802265587

    DO - 10.1080/00220380802265587

    M3 - Article

    VL - 45

    SP - 197

    EP - 226

    JO - Journal of Development Studies

    T2 - Journal of Development Studies

    JF - Journal of Development Studies

    SN - 0022-0388

    IS - 2

    ER -