Chris de Bont


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Works at Department of Human Geography
Telephone 08-16 48 35
Visiting address Svante Arrhenius väg 8
Room X 328
Postal address Kulturgeografiska institutionen 106 91 Stockholm

About me

I am a PhD student at the department of Human Geography since February 2014. I have a background in irrigation and water management and have previously done field work in Nepal, Tanzania and Egypt. I perceive irrigation systems as socio-technical networks, in which people, technology and natural resources are entangled beyond separation. In my current and previous research, I have focussed on farmers' roles in (re-)shaping irrigation technology and institutions and how these processes interact with larger development policies. I have a broad interest in anything to do with water and natural resource management, especially in the Global South.


Current research

For my PhD project, which is part of the Resilience in East African Landscapes project (REAL), I am studying irrigation development in the upper Pangani basin in northern Tanzania. Irrigation development here refers to both the expansion of irrigated area and the changes in irrigation technology and institutions.I focus on farmer-led initiatives to change/improve/expand irrigation systems as a way of questioning the dominant view in national policies of farmer-built systems as traditional, static and archaic. I conduct archival research to develop a historical account of public irrigation development policies and the state's attitude towards farmer-led irrigation over the last 80 years, and combine this with case studies of farmers' agency in current irrigation systems.

Past research

2012-2013: MSc research on water sharing between horticultural agribusinesses and local irrigators in the Nduruma catchment in northern Tanzania.

2013: MSc research on farmers' responses and socio-technical interventions after the implementation of an irrigation modernisation scheme in Egypt's Nile Delta.



de Bont, C., Veldwisch, G., Komakech, H.C. and Vos, J. 2015. The fluid nature of water grabbing: the on-going contestation of water distribution between peasants and agribusinesses in Nduruma, Tanzania. Agriculture and Human Values, DOI: 10.1007/s10460-015-9644-5.

de Bont, C. 2013. Responses to the irrigation improvement project along Abo Moustafa canal, Egypt: an analysis of water users' re-ordering of the sociotechnical water network. MSc Thesis, Wageningen University.

de Bont, C. 2013. Water management in the Nduruma catchment, Tanzania: An analysis of competition over water between smallholder irrigation communities and foreign horticultural companies. MSc Thesis, Wageningen University.





Last updated: February 6, 2018

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