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Condition, use, and management of water resources among pastoralists in Harshin District of the Jijiga Zone, Ethiopia: A gender perspective

MG Gebresenbet
ZT Zewdu


A study was conducted in Harshin district, Ethiopia to monitor the condition, use and management of water resources among Harshin pastoralists. For the study, three sub-districts (Kebles), Harshin, Medeweyin and Lanqerta, were selected. Both quantitative and qualitative data were collected using
household surveys, key informant interviews and focus group discussions. The study found that water supply in Harshin district is 100% surface water system through rain water harvesting in Birkas, and 63, 100 and 0% in Harshin, Medeweyin and Lanqerta, respectively, do not have Birkas. Besides, 76% of the respondents were not satisfied with the quality of drinking water. Moreover, existing water supply sources contamination is exacerbated by low latrine coverage of 96, 50 and 0% in Harshin, Lanqerta
and Medeweyin, respectively. Among the respondents, only 55% cleaned their storage material once in a week, while 18% never cleaned. However, 100, 33 and 50% of the respondents in Harshin, Lanqerta and Medeweyin, respectively, purify the water. The study recommends that strong assistance is required in maintenance of birkas, construction of silt traps and separate drinking structure for livestock coupled by capacity building and awareness rising for cleaning the available scarce water.

Key words: Water resources, pastoralists, rainwater, water-harvesting, gender.