Peace-based Informal Practices around Shared Communal Water Resources in Tyrone Village of Mhondoro-Ngezi, Zimbabwe
Informal practices to manage water resources are widely utilised in subsistence economies. However, there is a need for a more nuanced insight in respect of their processes for water social justice and peace among rural communities, with the less-developed formal resource management systems. This study explored peace-based informal practices, used in managing scarce natural water resources in a Zimbabwean rural setting. The study was guided by the qualitative methodology and employed semi-structured interviews and observations to establish how informal practices for sharing water resources have implications for peace in rural Mhondoro-Ngezi, Zimbabwe. Thematic analysis was employed in analysing the data, and procedures for formulating themes, by Creswell, were followed. The findings revealed the existence of several informal practices, anchored on the foundations for social justice. Cooperation around water resources was achieved through adherence to common rules, anchored on the philosophy of Ubuntu. The use of myths was an indirect way of conserving water for equity purposes by proscribing certain behaviour around shared water sources. We conclude that it is important for policy makers to observe these customary regulations in order to encourage and strengthen peaceful community co-existence.