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Report, 2018

Household level rainwater harvesting in the drylands of northern Ethiopia

Teka, Kassa


To overcome the challenges caused by climate change, and to improve food security, the Ethiopian government, together with local communities, have made large efforts by constructing rainwater harvesting techniques (RWHTs) such as household ponds, cisterns, check dams and roof water harvesting at community and household level. This study performed a literature review to synthesize research on how these efforts have had positive effects on food security in communities and household in the Tigray region in northern Ethiopia. The result of the review indicates that the present RWHTs in the region contribute to increased crop productivity, crop diversity, livestock productivity, livestock feed, and reduced distance and time to water points. Despite the advantages RWHTs provide, their expansion to a larger region are constrained by many factors; initial investment costs, material availability and quality, risk of disease such as malaria, water loss to evaporation, limited technical design capacity and irrigation calendar skills. This study concludes that if implemented successfully, and in accordance with local climate and geographic conditions, rainwater harvesting can serve as a powerful tool to increase reliable access to water so as to respond to the impacts of climate change and increase food and nutrition security for poor households.


food and nutrition security; Ethiopia

Published in

AgriFoSe2030 Report
2018, number: 11
eISBN: 978-91-576-9598-7
Publisher: SLU Global, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

Authors' information

Teka, Kassa
Mekelle University

UKÄ Subject classification

Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use

URI (permanent link to this page)