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Water Management Policies in Cameroon: Interference Through Technology Transfer

Water is an indispensable resource for human life and for social and economic development. But Oswaldo de Rivero (2003) notes that ninety-seven percent of all water on the planet is salty, only 3% is fresh and three-quarters of it is concentrated in inaccessible places such as the polar regions and glaciers. Therefore, only a small fraction of the earth's water is fresh and accessible in rivers, lakes and groundwater. According to international hydrological studies carried out by the United Nations and the Stockholm Environment Institute, this small fraction is declining and by 2025, two-thirds of the world's population will be affected by water shortages due to the decrease in the earth's hydraulic cycle caused by the urban population explosion. The search for a balance between population growth and vital resources such as water has a pride of place in the MDGs, which show that disparities in access to water are high, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa, and require the pooling of all energies. In Cameroon, the resurgence of endemic water-borne diseases prompted the government to set up a drinking water supply system known as the "Scandinave Water Project." This article attempts to describe the water management policies that eventually led to the re-emergence of water-related diseases. The data for this study were collected between 2006-2009 as part of doctoral studies. This collection is still going on in other localities of the country. This reflection is based on two theoretical approaches: The sociology of knowledge, which, according to David le Breton (2004), strives to identify laws that escape agents carried away by the weight of their class habitus. Knowledge is then viewed as a conquest, an enterprise 'against,' where it is a question of forcing the agent give up a conduct whose motivation he does not know. Science then brings out the hidden, the unknowing, it is an illumination, the revelation of obscure laws of operation to those who live them. Then comes pragmatism, an empirical theory of knowledge of which Widmer (1968) is one of the representatives. The relevance of this theory is measured by its consequences on reality. Pragmatism rehabilitates knowledge as it participates in the mutual construction of the world and brings about changes. The failure of this water supply project is above all the non-involvement of the populations and the lack of communication.

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Journal Article
Ndonko P