Repositioning the Shire Valley Project - Part 1: Regulating an unruly nature

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Shire Valley Project (SVP) was an integrated macro-development programme that ambitiously aimed: to regulate the level of Lake Malawi, to capture the hydro-electric potential of the Shire River and to open up and irrigate a vast tract of the Lower Shire Valley. In this paper I explore how a state rationale oriented around the regulation of nature emerged in the 1940s as an ongoing response to a dynamic hydrological system. I argue for a reconsideration of the Shire Valley Project (SVP) as a centre-piece of colonial and post-colonial development planning. Implemented piecemeal the SVP was partially successful in achieving (sometimes) incompatible objectives. The underlying governmental rationale of seeking to regulate hydrology to make waters and land productive in a globalising economic system persists to the modern period.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-60
Number of pages10
JournalThe Society of Malawi Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013


Dive into the research topics of 'Repositioning the Shire Valley Project - Part 1: Regulating an unruly nature'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this