The politics of water payments and stakeholder participation in the Limpopo River Basin, Mozambique

Rossella Alba*, Alex Bolding, Raphaëlle Ducrot

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Drawing from the experience of the Limpopo River Basin in Mozambique, the chapter analyses the articulation of a water rights framework in the context of decentralised river basin governance and IWRM-inspired reforms. The nexus between financial autonomy, service provision, stakeholder participation and the resultant allocation of water within the river basin is explored by scrutinising the newly instituted system of water permits and payments. Three cases are examined: (1) parastatal agencies managing large perimeters of irrigated land; (2) large-scale commercial companies irrigating land; and (3) so-called focal points representing groups of smallholder irrigators. The three presented cases show that structural challenges, local geographies and power relations shape the final outcome of water reforms in relation to decentralised river basin management, stakeholders' participation and accountability. Rather than improving accountability to users and securing the financial basis for sustainable infrastructure operation and maintenance, the permit system in place reinforces existing inequalities.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFlows and Practices
Subtitle of host publicationThe Politics of Integrated Water Resources Management in Eastern and Southern Africa
PublisherAfrican Books Collective
ISBN (Electronic)9781779223203
ISBN (Print)9781779223142
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017


  • Elite
  • IWRM
  • Mozambique
  • Policy articulation
  • Stakeholder participation
  • Water permits


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