Impact of an Integrated Watershed Management Program on Food Security: The Case of Mai Zeg Zeg Watershed in Degua Tembein Worada
Sebhatu, Seyoum Halibo
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The government of Ethiopia and the supporting donors have been investing huge resources on the food security programs though the watershed management approaches elsewhere in the country and the study woreda in particular. However the impact of such programs was not systematically studied. Without knowing the impact of watershed management food security programs mere implementation cannot guarantee positive outcome. This study was conducted in Degua Tembein woreda ,a food insecured area of the regional state of Tigray .It attempts to assess the impact of the integrated watershed management program on food security in the Mai Zeg Zeg watershed of Degua Tembein Woreda. The watershed based program impact is assessed in terms of household income, environment and water coverage and related indicators. A combination of quantitative and qualitative research methods were employed. As part of quantitative and qualitative research methods, primary data were collected by means of household survey questionnaire and focus group discussions respectively. As a tool of analysis descriptive analysis and propensity score matching were used. A total Sample of 200 respondents were randomly selected out of which 100 were program participants from Tabias of Aynimbrikekin and Michealaby (treated group ) and 100 were non participants from Adiazemera Tabia (untreated ) . The study results show that the watershed based food security program in the Mai zeg zeg watershed has shown significant impacts in terms of household income, environment and water coverage and related indicators. In figurative terms the program participants have enjoyed an average annual gain in the total household income between ETB 566.170 and ETB 340.098. With regard to production gain the households benefited with an average production gain in total production per tsimidi between 2.418 and 0.65 quintals. In terms of the number of months a household can feed his family, on average the participants have gained a benefit of feeding their families for extra months between 0.600 and 1.620. The study finding on the average livestock holding showed that program participants have not made any significant gain. The second most important issue that this study tried to assess is that the impact of the program on the environment. The study findings showed that there are two major benefits gained from the natural resources management: increased vegetable coverage and increased water discharge in down streams of the constructed SWC measures. Finally the study results on water access indicated that the project participants have much better access than the non participants. To this end 93% of the project participants have responded that they have access to clean water source. On the other hand the estimated results on average time to fetch water and average number of liters a household consumes per day showed that the non- participants need more extra time between 105.024 and 119.277 minutes. At the end the program participants have not made any significant gain on average water utilization. The results of the study showed that the Mai zeg zeg watershed management program has registered remarkable impact on the level of income, environment and water and related indicators. Therefore for the sustainability of these impacts proper policy and institutional set up of the watershed approach should be devised.