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Research Article

Academia Journal of Food Research 9(2): 022-031, August 2021
DOI: 10.15413/ajfr.2021.0103
ISSN 2315-7763
2021 Academia Publishing

Abstract

 

Water, power and the conflict for survival in Oases: Legal pluralism and the right to access water

 

Accepted 6th October, 2021
 

Fouzia Borj

Faculty of Arts and Human Sciences- Ain Chock Campus of University of Hassan II, Casablanca, Morocco.

 

Studies on oases worldwide reveal that the natural resources scarcity in these areas is decreasing sharply. In Morocco, the ecology policies and technological evolution have led to the emergence of agriculture dynamics which in turn have resulted into the spread of modern elite owned farming lands that are encroaching on traditional oasis space. This article explains how the shift in resource use practices has led to the depletion of the waters of tradition irrigation systems ‘‘Khattaras”, but also in legitimate pluralism of access to water and exceeded the survival needs of small farmers who have been marginalized in the new agricultural land and the use of groundwater. The changes in forms of agriculture and the tough competition over resources have triggered water conflicts and stimulated the emergence of many ecology protest movements by local actors. The latter are due to the undermining of the traditional water rights governed by common property customary laws on access to water within oasis communities. This reality has had a great impact on access to water and has even led to ethnic conflicts. The results of this study first show the importance of conflicts over upstream and downstream water resources depending on the hierarchy in the space of the oasis-Aljorf; (vertical conflicts), which has led to breakdowns in social ties between beneficiaries who sometimes belong to the same tribe (horizontal conflicts). However, this also reveals that the drilling techniques have become a resources ‘ownership’ instrument for elites that contribute to the creation of a new space. These agricultural transformations have contributed to the emergence of social protest movements demanding justice, in which youth –led are involved in resisting new legitimacies laws in the management of the local resources. This ethnographic study conducted in pre-Saharan Morocco, contends that it is important to locate the small farmers' agriculture of political ecology in the larger context of the agricultural globalization, and to relate the new agricultural pattern to social equality.

Key words: Injustice social, environmental movements, marginalization, ethnic conflicts, communities Oasis, Morocco.
 

This is an open access article published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Cite this article as:
Borj F (2021). Water, power and the conflict for survival in Oases: Legal pluralism and the right to access water. Acad. J. Food. 9(2): 022-031.

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