Ethiopian farmers and households have their say on their groundwater needs

re-posted from: Grofutures.org

The GroFutures team in Ethiopia has recently completed a survey of 400 households from predominantly agricultural communities within the Becho and Koka Plains of the Upper Awash Basin of Ethiopia; there are the same communities where the GroFutures team recently constructed and deployed new groundwater monitoring infrastructure. The team of social scientists, led by Yohannes Aberra of Addis Ababa University with support from Motuma Tolosa and Birhanu Maru, both from the Oromia Irrigation Development Authority, applied a questionnaire to poll respondent views on small-scale, household-level use of groundwater for irrigation, the status of groundwater governance, and their experiences of different irrigation, pump, conveyance and application technologies. The same questionnaire will be applied in other GroFutures basin observatories later this year.

The team began the household-level surveys on May 27th (2017) and completed 400 of these within 15 days. Two weeks prior to the start of the survey, the team reviewed the GroFutures-wide questionnaire to familiarize themselves with the questions and logistics of implementation. During implementation, the team encountered a major challenges in that many household heads were unavailable at their houses and had to be traced with all movements occurring in particularly hot weather.

In Becho, the team conducted questionnaires in the village of Alango Tulu whereas in Koka the team surveyed the village of Dungugi-Bekele.  As the total number of households does not exceed 600 in each village, the team’s polling of 200 households in each provided a high representative sample (>30%). The livelihoods of the polled village of Alango Tulu are dominated by local, household-level (small-scale) farming.  In the Dungugi-Bekele, the team focused on resident farmers though it was recognised that there are many irrigators who rent and cultivate land but don’t reside in the village.

The results of these questionnaires are eagerly awaited by the whole GroFutures team. A small sample of 30 questionnaires will be reviewed immediately by fellow GroFutures team members, Gebrehaweria Gebregziabher (IWMI) and Imogen Bellwood-Howard (IDS), and the Tanzanian colleagues (Andrew Tarimo and Devotha Mosha-Kilave) as they prepare shortly to trial the same questionnaire in the Great Ruaha Basin Observatory.

Photos: GroFutures social science team of the Upper Awash Basin in Ethiopia conducting household questionnaire survey in rural communities within the Becho and Koka Plains (GroFutures research team)

New Paper – Roads for water: the unused potential

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A new paper by Diego Garcia-Landarte Puertas, Kifle Woldearegay, Lyla Mehta, Martin Van Beusekom, Marta Agujetas Peréz and Frank Van Steenbergen from the Catalyst Project: Optimising Road Development for Groundwater Recharge and Retention

Download the open access Waterlines paper from Practical Action.

Abstract:

“Roads are generally perceived as infrastructure to deliver transport services, but they are more than that. They are major interventions in the hydrology of areas where they are constructed – concentrating runoff and altering subsurface flows. At present, water-related damage constitutes a major cost factor in road maintenance. Using ongoing research from Ethiopia, this article argues to reverse this and turn water from a foe into a friend and integrate water harvesting with road development.

Continue reading New Paper – Roads for water: the unused potential

“FLUORIDE IN GROUNDWATER: A DEBILITATING SCOURGE” Catalyst Project Webinar, 2 May

UPDATED 9 MAY

Watch recording

Part 1: Dr Seifu Kebede- Genesis of Fluoride in Groundwater in Ethiopia
Part 2: Sara Datturi- Fluorosis Mitigation in Ethiopian Central Rift Valley
Part 3: Q and A session

Fluorine is an element abundant in nature. In the right quantities, it is essential for the development of teeth and bones. However, under specific conditions, the concentration of fluoride (F) in ground and surface water can exceed safety levels and becomes toxic for human health. This may lead to skeletal and/or dental fluorosis, two chronic biogeochemical diseases that occur in various countries around the world.

Continue reading “FLUORIDE IN GROUNDWATER: A DEBILITATING SCOURGE” Catalyst Project Webinar, 2 May

UPGro research paper on Sketetal Fluorosis in Ethiopia

etaMeytaDSCN4512New paper by Redda Tekle-Haimanot, Gebeyehu Haile, part of the “Improving access to safe drinking water_prospection for low-fluoride sources Groundwater” Catalyst Project

ABSTRACT This study compared the occurrence of skeletal fluorosis in chronic consumers of locally brewed alcoholic beverages and their matched controls in the Ethiopian Rift Valley. The study revealed that chronic alcohol consumers developed severe forms of crippling skeletal fluorosis quite early in life. The controls were either symptom-free or exhibited mild forms of the fluorosis. The study showed that crippling skeletal fluorosis was directly associated with the large volumes of the locally brewed beer and honey-mead consumption on a daily basis. Chemical analysis of the alcoholic beverages showed that high concentration of fluoride which was much higher than the fluoride in the water was used for the brewing process. From this study one would conclude that in communities residing in high fluoride areas, there should be awareness creation campaigns to point out the relationship of excessive consumption of locally brewed alcoholic drinks and skeletal fluorosis. Regulations should also be put in place to require producers of local alcoholic beverages to use low fluoride water for brewing.

Journal of Water Resource and Protection, 2014, 6, 149-155
Published Online February 2014 (http://www.scirp.org/journal/jwarp)
Download the paper here: http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/jwarp.2014.62020