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Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) Tools
for the Study and Management of Surface Water Resources in Developing Countries: A Case Study from Nigeria

Nnabugwu Uluocha

Department of Geography, University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria
cell: +234 802 3172089


Water crisis is a notable problem in most developing countries particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa. In these countries, the rural communities are often mostly affected by the problem of perennial water shortage.  Nevertheless, over the ages, local communities in developing countries have adopted various ways of coping with the problem of water deficiency. Moreover, these communities equally devised certain effective traditional techniques by which they manage and utilize their surface water resources. There is need to recognize and incorporate such indigenous techniques into modern techniques in handling water management projects initiated by the governments of these developing countries as well as international donor agencies.

Hence, using Nigeria as an example, this paper attempts to address the role of indigenous knowledge in the management of surface water resources. The paper identifies various indigenous surface water management methods adopted by rural communities in different parts of Nigeria. The paper equally presents some Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) tools for the study and management of water resources in rural communities of not only Nigeria, but also other developing countries.