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Summary research report REACH IRC

This report summarises research that IRC has been conducting from 2017 to 2020 under the REACH programme in two watersheds in Amhara, Ethiopia. The research question has been “How do sustainable land management programmes relate to interventions promoting groundwater utilisation, and how can the benefits of groundwater development for the rural poor be secured and maximised?”. 

Three main activities (assessment, well upgrading and monitoring) were conducted to address the research question. The assessment showed the main driver is irrigation, but once present, many sources double up as domestic source as well, with 40% using their irrigation wells for drinking. 

The well upgrading process was informed by the self-supply acceleration planning and a semi-protected family well was promoted as part of the water technology ladder. However, the results of the uptake of these semi-protected wells has been disappointing with only 5 wells improved, against the 80 anticipated. 

This has hampered the sample size for the monitoring phase.The monitoring phase showed that securing water quality in the area has not been achieved, with even the improved wells having high risks. More than 90% of the population face high or very high water quality risk based on the E-coli measurements. 

This shows the need for linking with household water treatment initiatives and a recommendation is to develop one approach for household-focused development combining sanitation (CLTS), irrigation, well improvements and water treatment. Better alignment between the agriculture and water sectors is therefore recommended. 

Also, the evidence suggests that well improvements are not happening easily even in (or because of) areas with intensive existing land management programmes and if uptake within a relatively short time is pursued, significant subsidy or other forms of support will be needed.

TitleSummary research report REACH IRC
Publication TypeResearch Report
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsNaafs, A., Mekonta, L., Butterworth, J., Addisu, G.
Pagination20 pages
Date Published06/2020
PublisherIRC
Place PublishedAddis Ababa, Ethiopia
Publication LanguageEnglish
KeywordsAmhara, ethiopia, multiple use, research, Self-supply, shallow wells, unimproved, WASH
Abstract

This report summarises research that IRC has been conducting from 2017 to 2020 under the REACH programme in two watersheds in Amhara, Ethiopia. The research question has been “How do sustainable land management programmes relate to interventions promoting groundwater utilisation, and how can the benefits of groundwater development for the rural poor be secured and maximised?”. 

Three main activities (assessment, well upgrading and monitoring) were conducted to address the research question. The assessment showed the main driver is irrigation, but once present, many sources double up as domestic source as well, with 40% using their irrigation wells for drinking. 

The well upgrading process was informed by the self-supply acceleration planning and a semi-protected family well was promoted as part of the water technology ladder. However, the results of the uptake of these semi-protected wells has been disappointing with only 5 wells improved, against the 80 anticipated. 

This has hampered the sample size for the monitoring phase.The monitoring phase showed that securing water quality in the area has not been achieved, with even the improved wells having high risks. More than 90% of the population face high or very high water quality risk based on the E-coli measurements. 

This shows the need for linking with household water treatment initiatives and a recommendation is to develop one approach for household-focused development combining sanitation (CLTS), irrigation, well improvements and water treatment. Better alignment between the agriculture and water sectors is therefore recommended. 

Also, the evidence suggests that well improvements are not happening easily even in (or because of) areas with intensive existing land management programmes and if uptake within a relatively short time is pursued, significant subsidy or other forms of support will be needed.

Citation Key87039

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