Repositioning the Shire Valley Project - a retrospective (Part II): The Hydro-Politics of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland

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Abstract

The Shire Valley Project in Nyasaland/Malawi emerged in the 1940s as a major integrated development scheme of the colonial government of Nyasaland. It sought to combine the twin objectives of regulating the level of Lake Nyasa with the control of waters flowing through the Shire Valley for use as a source of hydro-electricity and waters for irrigation. With the establishment of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland in 1953 the scheme became embroiled in on-going power politics between the Federal government, the Nyasaland territorial government and the Nyasaland African Congress. The unruly behaviour of the lake and the weight attached by all actors to this project as a basis for the economic development of Nyasaland led to the Nkula Falls HEP element of the SVP becoming a key geopolitical pivot point in the history of the country, one upon which President Banda and the MCP were able to lever Nyasaland out of the Federation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46-56
Number of pages10
JournalThe Society of Malawi Journal
Volume67
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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