12 March 2010

The Political Economy of Boreholes in Southern Sudan


From SudanVotes.com… 

“boreholes are the cause of frequent fights amongst women. There are simply not enough bore holes to go around the population and thus it is the principle of first come first served which can create great injustice.  There is nobody responsible for order at the bore holes.  Often the neighborhood will only hear shouting and insults coming from the boreholes with people whose houses are near by using the shouts as their daily alarm clocks.”

Hmm so let me see. What we seem to have here is a problem of the allocation of a scarce resource. It seems that the price of a good has been set at zero, and there is also a kind of excess demand, leading to a queuing and fisticuffs solution. Now, if only there was some kind of theory about how to solve these kind of problems that could apply here.

Seriously though, anyone know about any experiences of privatised property rights in boreholes?


See also Dan Rogger’s story about the difficulties in getting a borehole built in the first place through a fictional developing country’s civil service.


R said...

Water development is really hard - many more failures than successes.

Anonymous said...

What about Elinor Ostrom's ideas?

Post a Comment