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Sustainability 2010, 2(10), 3239-3257; doi:10.3390/su2103239

Destitution through “Development”: A Case Study of the Laka Laka Project in Cochabamba, Bolivia

Urban and Regional Planning Program, L.D. Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs, Virginia Commonwealth University, 923 West Franklin Street, Richmond, VA 23284, USA;
Received: 11 August 2010 / Revised: 28 September 2010 / Accepted: 5 October 2010 / Published: 15 October 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land Use and Sustainability)
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This study examined environmental and socioeconomic outcomes of a water project in rural Bolivia, and sought insights on how and why its planning was so flawed. The project destroyed an ancient, sustainable irrigation system, and replaced it with one that provides insufficient and diminishing quantities of water to many fewer people, appears to be causing land degradation and groundwater depletion, and has fueled conflicts. The study shows that even relatively small, NGO-led projects can generate significant negative impacts, and raises questions about the pressures on development agencies to charge ahead with projects, despite obvious potential for such impacts.
Keywords: irrigation; farming systems; Andes; impact assessment; international development irrigation; farming systems; Andes; impact assessment; international development
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Shriar, A.J. Destitution through “Development”: A Case Study of the Laka Laka Project in Cochabamba, Bolivia. Sustainability 2010, 2, 3239-3257.

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