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INDIGENOUS KNOWLEDGE OF WATER USE AND MANAGEMENT AMONG THE AWI, NORTHWESTERN ETHIOPIA [Abstract ID: 1206-02]
This paper discusses indigenous knowledge of water and water use management among the Awi ethnic group in northwest Ethiopia. Awi cultural values are associated with both ground and surface water sources and resource use management. The people build traditional irrigation schemes operated and maintained by farmers themselves. Traditional water use associations led by elected chiefs undertake the operation and maintenance of traditional irrigation schemes. They also manage water sheds to improve water resource availability. When conflicts arise in water use, they resolve them through indigenous conflict resolution mechanisms. In addition to the documentation of such practices diachronically, this paper suggests indigenous knowledge in water management and use needs to be incorporated into “modern” water planning and use efforts. The research on this relatively less known and less written aspect of indigenous knowledge among the Awi (and even on other ethnic groups) was conducted in 2016 among the Awi through a qualitative approach.