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Wageningen University (2006)

Ethiopia : Institutional environment & local coping strategies within a MUS system in Legedini

Jeths Martine

Titre : Ethiopia : Institutional environment & local coping strategies within a MUS system in Legedini

Auteur : Jeths Martine

Université de soutenance : Wageningen University

Grade : Master of Science in International Land and Water Management 2006

Résumé partiel
This MSc thesis research was conducted in Ethiopia as part of the project on Multiple water Use Systems (MUS) by the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) and Partners. The MUS project states that an integrated multiple use systems approach is more sustainable and more effective in reducing poverty then water projects with a disciplinary approach. The multiple use of water will have a positive outcome on the improvement of rural livelihoods, especially for women. As one of the project goals is to fight poverty, research will be done on how small-scale productive uses of water at the household level can be promoted in order to reduce poverty. The principal study area for this thesis research was the Legedini Peasant Association in Eastern Ethiopia in the Dire Dawa Council. Legedini is situated in the arid lowlands below 1500m and is characterised by degraded land with erratic rainfall and no surface water. The people practise mixed subsistence farming, though cannot be self-sufficient and therefore depend on food aid. As Legedini is a water scarce area without any secure water source, the first priority of the Dire Dawa Administration is to provide the communities with safe drinking water (which means enough water of good quality). End 2002 the Dire Dawa Administrative Council commissioned the installation of a borehole for domestic water supply. The Hararghe Catholic Secretariat, a local NGO, engaged to implement the Development Assistance Program in this Peasant Association, installed a submerged pump powered by a diesel generator, infrastructure and developed the spring in the area. Besides introducing the new water system, HCS also introduced new crops and innovative methods of irrigation. All these measures created big expectations in the communities for the future, of being able to produce for the market and move beyond their food insecurity. Indeed these improved infrastructures and new practices brought benefits and expectations to the communities though also introduced new risks, dependencies and new vulnerabilities. The vulnerability of this system became apparent when the pump broke down two years after becoming operational. The selected technology, which was the only suitable technology according to the water office, appeared to be too complicated, too costly and not sufficient imbedded in the institutional framework for this area and therefore not sustainable. Another threat can be the allurement of the water system to people from outside the PA even though Legedini cannot sustain more population and livestock pressure, since it is not very suitable for agriculture due to the limited water availability. The solution for improving rural livelihoods by promoting productive uses of water should be sought in creating other water source options and technologies that are affordable for the people, develop alternative sources of income or accept the fact that the people will stay dependent on external aid.

Présentation (MUSgroup )

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