The University of Arizona

Reinterpreting energy poverty in Zimbabwe: a scalar perspective

Ellen Fungisai Chipango


Unequal access to electricity has negatively impacted rural households in Zimbabwe. Energy poverty and its impact cannot be understood only at rural household level, but involve the local community, the government, the nature of the state and international relations. The state, non-state and political actors operate across scales and have relational interactions that help to explain inequality in access to energy. Through a qualitative study of Buhera District, Ward 24 and its scalar political ecology, I explain inequalities of access through actor roles and differential power, also finding that patriarchal gender relations play a critical role in socially producing scale in the household. Scalar relations determine policy decisions that are felt by households denied access to electricity.

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