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Disease, Microdams and Natural Resources in Tigray, Ethiopia: Impacts on Productivity and Labour Supplies


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  • Gregory Amacher
  • Lire Ersado
  • Donald Leo Grebner
  • William Hyde
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    We examine the effects of water microdams and ensuing waterborne diseases on household decisions in Tigray, Ethiopia, where the government implemented a water resource development programme two decades ago. We find microdams increase productivity of both fuelwood collection and crop production, but the costs of these dams to households can be significant. In villages close to dams, disease prevalence is higher and all household labour categories spend more time sick, and more time is spent by male and female adults caring for sick family members. These can cost the household anywhere in the region of 150-250 Birr per season, depending on the type of labour diversion and the productivity of labour. Males are most significant here. Removing their time from production results in 40-60 per cent higher productivity and income losses compared to diversion of female labour. Sick households also spend significantly more money on health care, especially when male and female adults are sick.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Journal of Development Studies.

    Volume (Year): 40 (2004)
    Issue (Month): 6 ()
    Pages: 122-145

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    Handle: RePEc:taf:jdevst:v:40:y:2004:i:6:p:122-145

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    1. Lopez, Ramon E., 1984. "Estimating labor supply and production decisions of self-employed farm producers," European Economic Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 61-82.
    2. Johansson, Per-Olov & Lofgren, Karl-Gustaf, 1995. "Wealth from optimal health," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 65-79, May.
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    Cited by:
    1. Kohlin, Gunnar & Sills, Erin O. & Pattanayak, Subhrendu K. & Wilfong, Christopher, 2011. "Energy, gender and development: what are the linkages ? where is the evidence ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5800, The World Bank.
    2. Bowman, Maria S. & Amacher, Gregory S. & Merry, Frank D., 2008. "Fire use and prevention by traditional households in the Brazilian Amazon," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 117-130, August.
    3. Ulimwengu, John M., 2009. "Farmers' health status, agricultural efficiency, and poverty in rural Ethiopia: A stochastic production frontier approach," IFPRI discussion papers, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) 868, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    4. Bart Bruggen & Karolien Borghgraef & Chris Vinckier, 2010. "Causes of Water Supply Problems in Urbanised Regions in Developing Countries," Water Resources Management, Springer, Springer, vol. 24(9), pages 1885-1902, July.


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