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PREM Working Paper 07-01 - Impact of small scale water harvesting on household poverty: Evidence from northern Ethiopia
Water harvesting is increasingly seen as a means of reducing poverty in many drought prone areas. While extensive efforts are going on in constructing and providing smallholder farmers with water harvesting structures, such as household ponds and wells in Ethiopia, there is limited effort to systematically assess the impact of households’ access to ponds and wells on household welfare. This study applies advanced econometric evaluation techniques to assess whether households with ponds and wells are better off compared to those without. It also explores the factors that explain household level poverty. Results show that households with ponds and wells are not significantly better off compared to households without, even though they are comparable in essential household characteristics. A range of household characteristics, demographics, asset endowments and village level factors were found to be significant in explaining household poverty. Policy conclusions are drawn.
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