Water Infrastructure and Food Security Linkages in Three Selected Regions of Ethiopia
Access to water infrastructure reduces the exposure of people to a variety of diseases that obstruct the intake and utilization of food. In addition, it can reduce the time of hauling water by women, thereby increasing their productivity and status. The study has considered two important water infrastructures, namely domestic water supply schemes, and irrigation that affect food security in Ethiopia. Three regions that fall within the Ethiopian portion of the Nile Basin, namely Amhara, Oromia and Tigrai, were purposively selected. Data and information pertaining to food security situations and the status of domestic water supply and irrigation for all zones in the three selected regions of Ethiopia have been collected. Descriptive and inferential statistical techniques have been used to analyze the data. The findings of the study have shown that food security status in the three studied regions is generally low and varies considerably from zone to zone and from region to region. The study has also established the existence of strong linkages between water infrastructure and food security in Ethiopia. There are a relatively lower number of food insecure people in areas where there are better accesses to water supply and irrigation agriculture. This implies the need for policy interventions that can help in upgrading and expanding water infrastructures, adopting an
integrated food security and infrastructure development approach, maintaining the existing water schemes, and universalizing water
coverage in Ethiopia.
Keywords: Ethiopia, water scarcity, livelihood vulnerability, food security, water infrastructure