Institutional analysis of groundwater irrigation in Northeast Ghana

2020-06-17 19:39:48 Viewed: 297 Downloads: 144
  • Institutional analysis of groundwater irrigation in Northeast Ghana

      Lydia Kwoyiga

     Publisher: African Review of Economics and Finance

    Pub: 2020-06-17 19:39:48

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  • Groundwater irrigation is a major livelihood activity particularly in the dry season in Ghana. Considering their significance including shaping economic incentives and defining property rights, institutions have been crafted to regulate the use of groundwater for this purpose. Ghana’s water sector institutions, in general, have undergone several reforms. However, analysis of them tends to focus on formal institutions which relate to surface water irrigation rather than groundwater irrigation. Such analysis focuses more on the working of laws, policies and administration; the three pillars of the water economy which the New Institutional Economics (NIE) regarded as the Institutional Environment. Discussions of this sort are widespread and are seen recently in the works of Maria Saleth, Ariel Dinar and D.J. Bandaragoda, perhaps influenced by Elinor Ostrom’s contributions culminating in her award of the Nobel Prize in Economics. This paper differed in that it looked at both formal and traditional/informal institutions in regulating groundwater for irrigational purposes and the implications of these for groundwater sustainability. Ethnographic studies in Atankwidi showed major limitations of the position of NIE as far as institutions regulating groundwater for irrigation are concerned. The findings implied that informal institutions were more effective than formal institutions. Additionally, informal institutions were widely adopted while formal institutions were poorly enforced due to lack of interest by formal administrative agencies. Considering the future of groundwater resources for irrigation, the informal institutions managed demand effectively but needed improvement to boost recharge. There is, therefore, the need for traditional leaders to reconstitute the existing informal institutions taking into consideration measures of tree planting, water conservation practices and conjunctive use of surface and groundwater resources.

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  • Keywords

    Institutions, Analysis, Groundwater Irrigation, Ghana, Qualitative


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