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The role of small scale water harvesting in mitigating child malnutrition in Tigray, Ethiopia

Congress: 2008
Semret Mezgebu - a, Fitsum Hagos- b, Vincent Linderhof- c & Lorenzo Pelligrini- d a Institute for Social Studies (ISS), The Hague b Department of Natural Resource Economics and Management, Mekelle University c Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM

Keyword(s): Ponds, Wells, Child nutrition status, Tigray (Ethiopia), ordered logit estimation
AbstractUsing a micro data from a survey that was taken in 2004, this study was undertaken to evaluate the role of water harvesting on nutritional outcomes of preschool children and to assess the basic determinants among very young children (under the age of five) in Tigray, Ethiopia. The nutritional status of children is defined by z-scores of Weight-for-Height indicators, and the nutrition status of households with and without water harvesting structures is compared. The results show that water harvesting through water wells are associated with positive and significant impact while the effects of ponds were not conclusive, perhaps due to some unintended negative impacts that tend to offset the benefits of the structures. Furthermore, the ordered logistical regression analyses revealed that in addition to access to wells, household’s economic status and log of per capita food expenditure were significantly associated with less wasting. On the other hand, family size and area of residence were found to be negatively associated with the anthropometric indicator. A policy approach, which directly combines, sustainable water resources management, income growth and improved food security strategy is called for.
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