Within the framework of the DIDEM project, and with co-funding from the WIOSAP programme, the Franco-Mozambican team is seeking to calculate the environmental flows of the Incomati River in Mozambique, i.e. to define a management of dams that would benefit both the downstream users and the ecosystems of the estuary, which has seen its freshwater inflow decrease drastically over the past fifty years.
To give voice to the fisher-farmers living in the delta
A crucial issue is to give voice to the Fisher-farmers living in the delta, and in particular to the most vulnerable and least represented users in water sharing institutions. To this end, a participatory observatory of the Incomati delta has been developed, with support from the “Indian Ocean Blue Year” project. It includes 12 observers spread throughout the delta and representative of different professions and geographical situations with regard to the river.
On 1 April, a workshop was held at the University of Maputo to review the observations of the 12 observers in the delta. The different observations (dated photos and comments from fishermen and farmers, hydrological data collected) were debriefed and shared between users and scientists to reconstruct and analyse the variations of the river and the strategies adopted by the users since September 2021.
To test hydrological scenarios
Different hydrological scenarios were tested (dry year, wet year) through a role playing serious game in which the river was reconstituted with Capulana Fabric on a large table and the actors could define their production strategies (choice of crops, choice of fishing areas and gears). Finally, a scenario that include a freshwater release in September and October, during the equinox tides, was proposed by the users and tested through the game.
These intense moments of exchange and collective reflection are valuable for the co-construction of hydrological scenarios between local populations and researchers, scenarios that will subsequently be proposed to managers.
Several pictures testify :