After the International Conference on Water and Environment in Dublin in 1992, the four socalled Dublin Principles created new managerial approaches for the water sector. This case study, which was conducted in the Limpopo Basin in Mozambique, examined the performance in the implementation of the principle related to “water development and management based on a participatory approach involving users, planners and policy makers at all levels”. The study was motivated by the fact that experience with the implementation of this principle in the Limpopo Basin of Mozambique has not delivered the anticipated outcomes. To this effect, this study analysed the history and performance of the decentralization process in the Limpopo Basin, and the factors that might have contributed to the outcomes we observe The methodology employed by the study was based on the framework for institutional analysis of decentralization reforms in natural resource management proposed by Dinar et al. (2005), Kemper et al. (2006), and Blomquist et al. (2008). This framework recommends that for the decentralization process to be successful, the following pre-requisites must be in place: (1) financial assistance from the state to enable basin level stakeholders to establish some of the organisations; (2) actors' participation and equitable representation of different segments of society, and acceptance of it from the communities; (3) the presence of basinlevel institutions, availability of forums for information sharing, communication and for conflict resolution; and (4) legitimacy, relevant human capacities and adequate financial resources among the River Basin Organizations (RBOs). The results from this study indicate that in as much as the Water Law, the Regulations of Water Services Provision and the Water Policy in Mozambique created the basis for the decentralization of water resources management, the operationalisation of the process has not been successful, considering that the prerequisites for an effective and sustainable decentralization process as postulated by Blomquist, Dinar and Kemper are still lacking. The study established that incentives for the decentralization process were not linked to the scarcity of water. The study further established that most prerequisites postulated by Blomquist, Dinar and Kemper were not satisfied, in particular: (1) the financial assistance from the state to enable basin level stakeholders to establish some of the organisations is inadequate; (2) the actors' participation and equitable representation of different segments of society with interest in water resources management is not satisfactory; and (3) the legitimacy, relevant human capacities and adequate financial resources for effective functioning of the Water Users Associations (WUAs) are still lacking. Copyright
Dissertation (MSc(Agric))--University of Pretoria, 2012.