Header Grid Blocks


Shaping policy for development

An overview of Lagoro IDP camp in Kitgum District, northern Uganda, 20 May 2007. Manoocher Deghati/IRIN
Thu, 07/25/2013 - 17:52 -- Anonymous (not verified)

Voices from the Source: struggles with water security in Ethiopia

February 2012 to July 2012
Josephine Tucker, Alan Nicol, Deres Abdulkadir, Likimyelesh Nigussie, Wondewosen Michago Seide, Mengistu Dessalegn

The idea of ‘water security’ is under unprecedented scrutiny at an international level.  Much current debate is couched in terms of a water-security-energy ‘nexus’ reflecting growing understanding of interrelationships at all levels . Many governments and agencies – including in Ethiopia – are seeking better ways of targeting water investments to reduce risks for the most vulnerable and to encourage contributions to growth and development at all levels

The literature that exists already tells us that difficulties in accessing reliable, safe water for drinking and household productive uses may only be experienced seasonally, and/or by certain groups within communities – and may range across different uses from individual consumption to small-scale irrigation and livestock watering. This mosaic of impacts and effects is often hard to interpret and understand without detailing the lives and livelihoods of local communities and enabling their own voices to tell the story of local water (in)security.

This research will go back to the source and will encourage people to speak for themselves and articulate their own diversity of views on what their understandings are of water ‘security and insecurity’ and how they interpret the links between these understandings and their wider food, income health and other forms of security constituting their overall human security.

This particular focus on a human-centric perspective will seek to engage with wider economic-centric understandings of water security, often presented simply in terms of water scarcity (availability per capita terms, for instance). We will focus in particular on understanding the institutional environments at a local level that mediate and shape access to the resource, how it is used and how communities – and other institutions – seek to develop and enhance their future water security. 

The key research questions are:

  • What are the specific physical, social, economic and political drivers of water insecurity in specific locations and what are the responses to physical and economic water stresses?

  • What are the public policy and institutional priorities and support measures that could improve resilience to water insecurities at a local level?

Water Policy
Institute of Development Studies (IDS)
Research-inspired Policy and Practice Learning in Ethiopia and the Nile region (RiPPLE)
Josephine Tucker

To achieve water security, we must see its human face

Opinion - Articles and blogs - 19 February 2013

‘I am telling you, I am torn between my work and water.’

‘I cannot save water for myself while knowing that my neighbour has no water. I should give it to my neighbour.’

‘I cannot transport water on my own. However I can rely on others who have donkeys.’

Orke Otta walks with a jerrycan full of clean water, Abba Roba, Konso, Ethiopia
Orke Otta walks with a jerrycan full of clean water, Abba Roba, Konso, Ethiopia

License: ODI given rights
Credit: WaterAid/Anna Kari
Source: WaterAid

Achieving water security: global concerns and local realities

Event - Public event - 6 February 2013 17:15 - 18:45 (GMT+00)

Why does water security remain an elusive goal for many countries?  What factors make it difficult to sustain services and manage resources effectively at scale? How do rural households experience water insecurity, and are current policy responses adequate? This launch event, seminar and photo exhibition held in partnership with WaterAid and the International Water and Sanitation Centre will launch two major research outputs which examine these questions using detailed field level evidence.

Voices from the source: struggles with local water security in Ethiopia

Publication - Research reports and studies - 6 February 2013
Mengistu Dessalegn, Likimyelesh Nigussie, Wondwosen Michago, Josephine Tucker, Alan Nicol and Roger Calow
What are the physical, social, economic and political drivers of water insecurity in different locations in Ethiopia? How have different communities responded to situations of water stress? What should be the public policy and institutional priorities to improve resilience to water stress at a local level, and reduce the negative impacts on communities? This assessment explores local water security in two very different sites in rural Ethiopia – a pastoral district in the eastern Somali region (Shinile), and a somewhat remote agricultural district in the south (Konso).