By: Adrian Cullis and Arnold Pacey
The African Sahel has one of the poorest regional economies in the world. Within it, pastoralists are particularly vulnerable because development policy has often failed to address local concerns. By contrast, the Turkana rainwater harvesting project described in the book stands out in its simplicity - a basic water-conservation technology based on priorities identified by local people, adapted by them, and where local pastoralists and gardeners take full responsibility for the control and administration of the work. The authors illustrate the project's progress through a series of descriptive scenes, with discussion of both successes and learning experiences. The whole process covering the years from 1984 to 1990 was one of continuous "dialogue" between western technological principles and experience, and local observation and knowledge - resulting in a successful learning process promising to empower local people to cope better with economic pressures and the harsh environment. It is a story with lessons for all engaged in projects involving development agencies and local people anywhere. "A Development Dialogue" is a companion text to "Rainwater Harvesting", also by Arnold Pacey and Adrian Cullis and published in 1986.
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