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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

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Gregory Amacher & Lire Ersado & Donald Leo Grebner & William Hyde, 2004. "Disease, Microdams and Natural Resources in Tigray, Ethiopia: Impacts on Productivity and Labour Supplies," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(6), pages 122-145.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jdevst:v:40:y:2004:i:6:p:122-145
    DOI: 10.1080/0022038042000233830
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Johansson, Per-Olov & Lofgren, Karl-Gustaf, 1995. "Wealth from optimal health," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 65-79, May.
    2. Lopez, Ramon E., 1984. "Estimating labor supply and production decisions of self-employed farm producers," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 61-82.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ulimwengu, John M., 2009. "Farmers' health status, agricultural efficiency, and poverty in rural Ethiopia: A stochastic production frontier approach," IFPRI discussion papers 868, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    2. St. Clair, Priscilla Cooke, 2016. "Community forest management, gender and fuelwood collection in rural Nepal," Journal of Forest Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 52-71.
    3. Bart Bruggen & Karolien Borghgraef & Chris Vinckier, 2010. "Causes of Water Supply Problems in Urbanised Regions in Developing Countries," Water Resources Management: An International Journal, Published for the European Water Resources Association (EWRA), Springer;European Water Resources Association (EWRA), vol. 24(9), pages 1885-1902, July.
    4. 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.
    5. Beyene,Abebe D. & Bluffstone,Randall & Gebreegziabher,Zenebe & Martinsson,Peter & Mekonnen,Alemu & Vieider,Ferdinand, 2015. "The improved biomass stove saves wood, but how often do people use it ? evidence from a randomized treatment trial in Ethiopia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7297, The World Bank.
    6. Ersado, L., 2005. "Small-scale irrigation dams, agricultural production, and health: theory and evidence from Ethiopia," IWMI Working Papers H044383, International Water Management Institute.
    7. Bowman, Maria S. & Amacher, Gregory S. & Merry, Frank D., 2008. "Fire use and prevention by traditional households in the Brazilian Amazon," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 117-130, August.
    8. Jagger, Pamela & Jumbe, Charles, 2016. "Stoves or sugar? Willingness to adopt improved cookstoves in Malawi," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 409-419.
    9. Garbero, Alessandra & Songsermsawas, Tisorn, 2016. "Impact of modern irrigation on household production and welfare outcomes: Evidence from the PASIDP project in Ethiopia," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, 2016, Boston, Massachusetts 235949, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.

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