Micro Water Harvesting for Climate Change Mitigation: Trade-Offs between Health and Poverty Reduction in Northern Ethiopia
18 Pages Posted: 26 Dec 2009
Date Written: December 2006
Water harvesting is an important tool for mitigating the adverse effects of climate change. This report investigates the trade-offs between health and poverty reduction by considering the impacts of water harvesting on health in Tigray region, northern Ethiopia. In particular, we assess the prevalence of malaria in association with ponds and wells. The determinants of malaria incidence are explored with multivariate analysis. We investigate people’s willingness to pay (WTP) for improved malaria control using a contingent valuation method (CVM). We applied a double-bounded dichotomous choice CV surveys to elicit households’ WTP for improved health services to control malaria. With interval regression, the WTP was explained as a function of household characteristics, health and health service conditions, and village level factors. The malaria prevalence rate is very high, more than 30 percent in low land communities, although rates are higher after the rainy season. This suggests that ponds and wells are important factors in determining the prevalence of malaria. Better housing conditions, toilet type, and availability of bed nets are all factors which reduce the incidence of malaria. Pond and well ownership affects the WTP for improved malaria control in a negative and positive way respectively, indicating differences in their economic attractiveness. WTP decreases with altitude and thus malaria incidence. Education and household asset holding generally increases WTP for improved health services. The results suggest that valuation results on household’s WTP in poor economies may be underestimated because of cash constraint. Consequently, alternative payment vehicles in eliciting households’ WTP have to be considered. Similarly, the estimated mean WTP for the external health cost of wells and ponds may be underestimated. In our case, ponds and wells are not fully exploited, as our results suggest that they do not contribute to household income or welfare. Thus the presence of ponds and wells pose high external costs to the economy.
Keywords: CVM, double-bounded dichotomous discrete choice, water harvesting, malaria incidence, public health program, Northern Ethiopia
JEL Classification: I32, Q12, C25
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation