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UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education, Delft (2014)

The discursive production of the urban waterscape : an insight into Maputo City, Mozambique

dos Santos Silva

Titre : The discursive production of the urban waterscape : an insight into Maputo City, Mozambique

Auteur : dos Santos Silva

Etablissement de soutenance : UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education, Delft

Grade : Master of Science (MS) 2014

Résumé
By understanding the fragmented status of the urban water landscape - the waterscape - as the outcome of politicised decision-making processes, in which actors are not necessarily working for the greater good, but to address their own interests, political ecologists have been shedding light on the drivers of the uneven provision of water services in Global South cities (March, 2013 ; Anand, 2011 ; Loftus, 2009 ; Kooy & Bakker, 2008 ; Gandy, 2008 ; Gandy, 2004). In this effort, they have called attention to the need to explore more in-depth how this politicised process takes place by looking at the discourses mobilised by actors to legitimise interventions in nature (Swyngedouw, 2009 ; Castro, 2007 ; Loftus, 2009 ; Loftus & Lumsden, 2008). This exercise would enhance understanding about actors’ interaction in relation to their positions, needs and interests and therefore, about the power relations operating in the uneven production of the urban waterscape. To better understand why water flows from and to where it flows, this research adopts a single case study and uses discourse analysis tools to identify the discourses mobilised by State actors in the decision-making process regarding water infrastructure projects that augment the production capacity of water supply and reshape the urban waterscape of Maputo City, capital of Mozambique (sub-saharan Africa). The discourses mapped - along with the argumentative rationality supporting them - are placed within their social context and the situational logic of the State actors, revealing that the production of the urban waterscape is poorly informed by the interest to provide equal access to water services and face the challenges of intense urbanisation. The urban needs are discursively mobilised to publicly justify for donors and civil society the construction of water infrastructures that mainly advance the expansion needs of the development agenda of commercial agriculture and industry. This situation is highly the result of the shared post-colonial history of the State actors ruling water governance. The thesis demonstrates that look at discourses is labour intensive, but a useful practice to enhance understanding at how actors discursively negotiate the production of the urban waterscape to address their interests - which may not necessarily correspond to meeting the water services demands of the urban world.

Sujets  : urban waterscape ; governance ; Mozambique

Présentation

Page publiée le 4 janvier 2017, mise à jour le 13 novembre 2019