Ethiopia integrated case study


Over the last years, a wide range of water resource development projects have been conducted in Ethiopia in cooperation with donors, local government, and pastoral and farmer communities in areas like the Borana Zone in Ethiopia. The projects’ aims are to improve the availability of good-quality water through WHTs, reduce communities’ vulnerability to rainfall variability and improve their access to water in the dry period. The WHTs that serve to supply water for both domestic use and agriculture include:
• Capping springs which are usually located near top of hills and distribute by gravity. Different structures like reservoir, water points, cattle troughs and overflow storage ponds are constructed and maintained.
• Cisterns with different capacities (e.g., 50m³, 60m³, 70m³ and 100m³) and open field or paved catchments. These structures, mainly built near communities, help to harvest water during rainy season so that water will be stored nearby and used during the dry season. They are also used to store water collected with a rope and bucket, hand pump or, if topography allows, gravity-sustained pipes and, during emergencies, by lorry from other areas.
• Sand dams on seasonal rivers with sandy beds to increase the subsurface water storage accessed by hand-dug wells. These systems, newly introduced (in 2007) from Kenya, can provide good quality dry-season water for domestic use and small scale irrigation.
• Open ponds of different capacities for dry season consumption by livestock and humans.

Research on these WHTs will be directed at the questions on WHT improvement (in terms of both construction and management) and uptake. The main research questions that will be addressed are:
• Do the WHTs help improving access to clean drinking water?
• Do the WHTs help to enable small scale irrigated agriculture for grassland development?• Are the WHTs fit to be replicated by pastoralists?
• What are the main issues concerning the financial, social, and economic sustainability of the WHTs?
• How do the WHTs fit traditional institutions of the local communities?
• Are the WHTs fit to be replicated by pastoralists?

The methodology will be using scenario analyses coupled with global to regional water balance and trade models, in close consultation with project partners and stakeholders to ensure relevance. In particular the outputs will serve for policy and decision support outputs in Work Package 3.


The objectives of WP10 are:
• To analyse the effects of WHTs, e.g., cisterns, open ponds, sand dams and other systems, on water supply to communities for human and livestock consumption and determine their impact on disaster risk reduction (in cooperation with Work Packages 4 and 6)
• To analyse the effects of water harvesting systems on livelihood improvement and food security, and to assess the potential of WH for small scale irrigation (in cooperation with Work Package 5)
• To analyse the uptake and upscaling of WHTs (in cooperation with Work Packages 7 and 8)


D10.1) Factsheet Ethiopia: Factsheet Ethiopia: A factsheet will be produced describing the RTD activities on water harvesting technologies in Ethiopia and their first results. [month 24]

D10.2) Synthesis report with WHT guidelines: Synthesis report with WHT guidelines: A synthesis report on impact analysis of WHTs on livelihood security, water supply, and disaster risk reduction in Ethiopia will be written. The synthesis includes guidelines and standards for sustainable WHTs. [month 42]

Lead Institution:

Arba Minch University (AMU)

WP Leader:

Adane Abebe