Determinants and Dimensions of Poverty Among Rural Households: The Case ofitang Speical Distric in Gambella, Ethiopia.

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Addis Ababa University


The current paper was designed to study the dimensions and determinants of rural household poverty in Itang special dislricl of Gambella National Regional State of Western Ethiopia. Rural household poverty is usually determined by socio-economic, demographic, institutional and natural factors including vulnerabilities to disaster risks. The study focuses on fealures and jixtors determining household poverty in three rural kebeles, where the Annuak and Nuer ethnic groups reside. A total of 89 households drawn Ji'om lIang kir, Pukumu and Badel Kebele Administrations were involved in the study. The melhodology employed in Ihis sludy includes descriptive statistics and explanatory analysis based on Ihe data collecled Ihrough qualilalive and quantitative methods. In particular, household survey, focus group discussion as well as key informanl interview were used as part of collecling primary in/ormalioll. 71,e Cost of Basic Needs approach was employed to set a poverty line. Besides, Ihe Fosler Greek Thorbecke method of poverty indices was employed to find out the level. incidence and severity of poverty among the poor and nonpoor categories of the stuc6! households. This study showed the absolute poverty line of the households is Birr 1662.65 with the food poverty line of Birr 1334.96. Based on the findings, Ihe total head count index is 0.438 which means 43.8 percent of the sampled households fall under the poverty line. It also indicated Ihat the per capita consull1pl ion expendilure distrib ution, non-jood expenditure per AEU of sample households, educational, age and sex of sampled household heads varied for poor and non-poor at less than 1% slolislical level. There is a significant differences in poverty level among the poor and non poor sampled households in terms of factors such as the size of cultivated land, remillances, assel possession, income Ji'om off-jarm and/or livestock. On the contrary, the poor study households have relatively low average family size, low dependency ratio and fewer hours of walking distance 10 market as compared to the non-poor; and thus Ihe findings do not sup pori the assumplion stated in the research hypotheses. Based on the logit regression model 01.11 put, Ihe study revealed that the total households' income was significant at less than 1% probability level. Household size and household head age were found to be significant al less Ihan 5 % while remittance and distance to the markets were significant at less than 10 % probabililY le vel. The remaining two variables, namely overall dependency ratio and access 10 exlension service were not statistically significant. A1eanwhile, the current slucO, ./iJUnd out thai recurring hazards such as inter ethnic conflict and floods which quickly turned in to disaster and subsequently incapacitates households ' resilience and contributes in keeping fhe sludy households and communities under the vicious cycle of poverty. Practices of social obligalions like excessive dowry payment, sharing of household resource as well as alcohollSl/1 and disruptions of social cultural assets caused F ont a myriad of internal and exlernal ji:lctars were found disincentive for saving and investment thereby contrihules ils own share in exacerbating the overall living conditions. This paper concludes by p/'Oposing a range of short-term and long-term intervention options to reduce poverty among poor households. Among others, the study highlights the need to consider policy and programs Ihal seeks 10 address the structural causes of poverty and its vulnerabilities to attain food sell sufficiency at household level thereby ultimately reduce poverty and ils manifestations among Ihe population in the study district.



Poverty among Rural Households