Impact Assessment of Rainwater Harvesting Ponds: The Case of Alaba Woreda, Ethiopia

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This study assesses the determinants of households' adoption of rainwater harvesting ponds, and its impact on agricultural intensification and yield in Alaba Woreda southern Ethiopia. Results are based on data collected from a survey of 152 households and 1036 plots operated by the households. Households were stratified into those with rain water harvesting ponds and those without from which equal number of sample households ware drawn. Analysis of descriptive information and econometric methods are used. analysis of qualitative information supplemented the econometric results. The finding in the cropping pattern shows that, farm households have started to grow new crops (vegetables and perennial crops) as a result of water availability from the water harvesting ponds, Results of Pro bit analysis on the determinants of adoption of rainwater harvesting ponds shows that household size, education status of household head, ownership of livestock (cattle, oxen and pack animals), homestead plots and type of pond explained adoption statistically significantly. Results of analysis of qualitative information, consistent, with the Probit model results, also showed that labor requirement, economic problem to use simpler water lifting and watering equipments, inability to easily understand the benefit of the technology and problems related with the structure of the RWH technology adopted were some of tire major problems faced by households, and have a negative impact on the technology adoption rate. The Ordinary Least Square estimation of tire determinants of the value of crop production shows that adoption of RWH has a positive and statistically significant effect on value of crop production, after controlling for input use and other factors. This shows that RWH ponds have direct and significant impact on value of crop production. We also find that households with RWH technology use more labor and seed but less oxen power compared with those households who have not adopted the technology. Moreover, labor and seed inputs have positively significant impact on yield while the effect of oxen power is insignificant. These res lilts show that in addition to its direct impact, RWH has significant indirect impact all value of crop production through its effect on intensity of input use. Labor requirements and cost considerations appear to be important factors that influence household's adoption of RWH technology. This implies that research and development interventions need to take account of the labor and cost demands of the technology. The effectiveness of the technology adoption is mainly constrained by problems related to water lifting and watering equipments, and accidents occurring due to absence of roof cover and fence to the ponds. This implies that support will be needed to provide affordable but improved water lifting and watering equipments, and give training to farm households on construction and use of roof covers and fences to tire ponds. As households shift to high value but perishable commodities due to the RWH, emphasis needs to be given to marketing extension, especially in facilitating markets and market linkages to farmers. Future intervention to promote RWH technologies need to provide due attention to quality, rather than focusing on the number of adopters. Households appear to neglect the community ponds since they focus on using cleaner water obtained from household ponds and other sources of clean water. In this process the community ponds are becoming a cause of health problems. Thus, it is important that appropriate attention be given to the community ponds as well.



Impact Assessment, Rainwater Harvesting Ponds