Multidimensional approach to local water conflicts
2020-01-06T12:21:32Z (GMT) by
Water is one of the most precious but least valued common property resource. Efficient ways of water resources management are vital to socio-economic development and the overall feat of societal stability. However, water conflicts have further exacerbated the access to water especially in low-income developing countries. Most notably, little attention has been given to studying water conflicts at the local level when compared to international water conflicts. As a result, there is insufficient information and theory on the exponentially increasing number of local water conflicts. In the Middle East, water was a tool for military purposes; in Asia disputes over water occur due to development-related activities, whilst in Africa, control over water resources has been the root cause of many conflicts affecting millions of vulnerable communities. This research investigates the nature, causes and dimensions of local water conflicts in the context of low-income developing countries based on the Afar region, which is located in the Awash Trans-regional River Basin of Ethiopia. The research suggests a new multidimensional approach for pre-identification, early warning services and local water conflict neutralization. This approach also introduces preparedness techniques, which play a significant role in reducing potential risks and tensions that trigger local water conflicts between communities sharing the same water resources. The study further proposes a policy guideline matrix that would serve as a technique for reducing local water conflicts by providing new ways of thinking about the links between sustainable developments, local water conflict management and strategic partnerships. The research is implemented through the process of designing a framework based on essential theoretical and practical findings supported by survey data of 134 household representatives of local communities and 26 institutions, together with 22 interviews. The introduced multipurpose framework is based on five fundamental parameters, namely: contribution to Sustainable Development, Information, Preparedness, Tolerance Capacity and Interaction (DIPTI). The research proposes the Sparkling Effects of Conflict , a new approach in understanding and predicting the coverage of the effects of conflicts other than the primary conflicting parties and conflict location. In addition, two pillars of the conceptual frameworks emerged from the findings. First, the WEC (Water, Early Warning and Conflict) information pyramid, a framework designed to indicate the core components of local WEC-related information identification and management. Second, the Pillars of Conflict Pyramid, the simplest conceptual framework, easily helps to pre-identify the effects of local water conflicts with certain limitations. Besides, the study addressed six additional conflict neutralization and resolution inputs that incorporate the significance of the participation of women and other vulnerable members of communities. These findings also highlight the advantage of co-existence between useful traditional and modern practices in neutralizing conflicts. Overall, the study will assist local people, policy and decision makers and institutions in low-income developing countries with a similar context to that of the study area.