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Type: Journal article
Title: Ecological modernization and water resource management: a critique of institutional transitions in Ghana
Author: Atampugre, G.
Botchway, D.
Esia-Donkoh, K.
Kendie, S.
Citation: GeoJournal: an international journal on human geography and environmental sciences, 2016; 81(3):367-378
Publisher: Springer
Issue Date: 2016
ISSN: 0343-2521
Statement of
Gerald Atampugre, De-Valera N. Y. M. Botchway, Kobina Esia-Donkoh, Stephen Kendie
Abstract: Ghana is endowed with surface and ground water resources. These resources prior to the colonial era were managed by traditional societies through various conventional methods embedded in their cosmovision. However during the colonial and postcolonial regimes, in response to climate change, economic globalization, and population pressure, there has been a conscious shift from customary water management systems towards paradigms cast in the contemporary mould (legislation, policies, and institutions). These modern approaches have been shown over the years to be insufficient in ensuring water sustainability. This insufficiency manifests itself in the increasing water scarcity through anthropogenic-induced water resources degradation and severe climatic variability. Using content analysis, this paper reviews this transition, first to fully understand the intricacies of the evolution and second to draw lessons for better water resources management in Ghana. This paper contends that although Ghana’s water related institutions, laws, and policies are undergoing significant reforms, implementation and practice remains embedded in weak ecological modernization (EM). Institutionalizing a narrow conception of EM will only perpetuate ‘organized irresponsibility’ and permit the continued production of ecological problems, leaving open the question of whether modernization is compatible with ecological sustainability. Though customary water management approaches are not entirely devoid of limitations, simply branding them as obsolete may obviate an important vehicle for water sustainability. In the spirit paradigmatic complementarity, ecosystem-friendly indigenous approaches must be integrated with contemporary management systems for the long term goal of sustainability.
Keywords: Water resource management; Ecological modernization; Institutional transitions; Sustainability; Ghana
Description: Published online: 05 Feb 2015
Rights: © Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015
DOI: 10.1007/s10708-015-9623-9
Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest 3
Geography, Environment and Population publications

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