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Sedimentation in small dams

Impacts on the incomes of poor rural communities

P

Lawrence

N

Hasnip

Report OD TN 118 Rev 0.0 January 2004

Impacts on the incomes of poor rural communities P Lawrence N Hasnip Report OD TN 118
Impacts on the incomes of poor rural communities P Lawrence N Hasnip Report OD TN 118

Sedimentation in small dams - impacts on the incomes of poor rural communities

Document Information

Project

Uptake of Tools for Mitigating Sedimentation

Report title

Sedimentation in small dams – Impacts on the incomes of poor rural

communities

Client

 

DFID

Client Representative

Mr. M Edwards

Project No.

DFID Project R7391 HR Project MDS0533

Report No.

OD TN 118

Doc. ref.

OD TN 118 - Sedimentation in small dams.doc

Project Manager

P

Lawrence

Project Sponsor

J

Skutsch

Document History

Date

Revision

Prepared

Approved

Authorised

Notes

14/01/04

0.0

       

Contract

This report is an output of the Department for International Development’s (DFID) Knowledge and Research contract R 7391, Uptake of tools for mitigating sedimentation, carried out by HR Wallingford Ltd. The HR Wallingford job No. was MDS 0533. The views expressed are not necessarily those of DFID. The DFID KAR project details are:

Theme:

W5 Improved availability of water for sustainable food production and rural development

Project title

Uptake of tools for mitigating sedimentation

Project number

R 7391

 

Start date

31

August 1999

End Date

31

March 2003

Prepared

 

Approved

Authorised

 

© HR Wallingford Limited

This report is a contribution to research generally and it would be imprudent for third parties to rely on it in specific applications without first checking its suitability. Various sections of this report rely on data supplied by or drawn from third party sources. HR Wallingford accepts no liability for loss or damage suffered by the client or third parties as a result of errors or inaccuracies in such third party data. HR Wallingford will only accept responsibility for the use of its material in specific projects where it has been engaged to advise upon a specific commission and given the opportunity to express a view on the reliability of the material for the particular applications.

Sedimentation in small dams - impacts on the incomes of poor rural communities

Executive Summary

Sedimentation in small dams

Impacts on the incomes of poor rural communities

P

Lawrence

N

Hasnip

Report OD TN 118 January 2004

This report describes the link between sedimentation in small dams and the incomes of rural communities living in semi-arid regions of Southern Africa. It is an intermediate output from a DFID KAR project R7391, “Uptake of Tools for Mitigating Sedimentation”.

A literature review (HR Wallingford (2000), attached as annex 2), highlights the strong link

between the availability of water for agriculture and livestock production, and incomes of the rural poor. Household income data for rainfed subsistence farmers in Zimbabwe are presented that show average household incomes reducing by two thirds in a drought year. One means of increasing resilience to the shocks produced by rainfall variations, particularly droughts, is to store water in small dams to irrigate crops and water cattle. Water from dams is used to irrigate garden crops and water cattle through the dry season, while some water is stored to provide insurance against a failure of the following year’s rains.

The effect of sedimentation on the livelihoods of communities using small dams was investigated using socio-economic data from a study of the impact of a DFID-funded small dam rehabilitation programme in Zimbabwe. A wide range of benefits was identified, but by far the largest benefits are derived from irrigated gardens growing vegetables for home consumption and sale. For this study information obtained from communities on the benefits of a small dam was used with estimates of water yield reductions over time due to sedimentation, to estimate reductions in benefits as a dam silts up.

The table below shows the predicted loss in community benefits due to siltation for a typical

small dam. The losses are expressed in US $, and are the sum of the benefits lost over 20 years

of siltation.

Scenario

Typical (4.5m high) dam with no dry season recharge and average (2% per annum) sedimentation rate

Predicted loss in community benefits over 20 years due to sedimentation (US$) 1

171, 000

Note 1 At the conversion rate of 1US$ = 50 Z$ adopted in CARE (2000). The accumulated benefit over 20 years without reductions due to siltation would have been 552, 000 US$.

Sedimentation in small dams - impacts on the incomes of poor rural communities

Executive Summary continued

After twenty years of siltation the water yield, and hence the annual benefit derived from the dam, is reduced to 34 % of the initial benefit. (The reduction in water yield over the period is significantly larger than the loss in storage capacity attributable to siltation, due to the increasing proportion of water that is evaporated as a dam becomes shallower.)

For a typical dam the average annual loss in benefit per household (of those benefiting from the dam) is estimated as 82 US$. This is equivalent to 50 % of the average household cash incomes (among the dam using communities). As reliance on irrigated vegetable production represents an increasingly large proportion of household benefits as household incomes reduce, the poorest families suffer the most as dams silt up. The annual monetary loss in benefits due to siltation for the poorest dam using resource group, as identified in a wealth ranking study, exceeds the average annual household cash income.

These estimates are for a “typical” dam; much larger losses in benefits will occur in shallower dams where siltation has a greater impact on water yield, and in dams with larger than average siltation rates.

It is concluded that a strong link is demonstrated between sedimentation in dams and reduction in livelihood benefits of the poorest sectors of the rural communities. This intuitively obvious result justifies investment in technical studies designed to provide tools that enable future sedimentation rates in small dams to be predicted by local engineers, using the limited data that are available. Sedimentation is a natural and inevitable process. It needs to be considered properly at the site selection and design stage of dam rehabilitation and construction projects if the benefits of small dams are not to be rapidly lost, with potentially devastating impacts on the poorest sections of rural communities.

Sedimentation in small dams - impacts on the incomes of poor rural communities

Contents

Title page

i

Document Information

ii

Executive Summary

iii

Contents

v

1.

Introduction

1

2.

Climate variability and rural communities’ perceptions of risk

2

3.

Impacts of rainfall variations on agricultural and livestock production

3

4.

Links between rainfall, incomes and poverty

4

5.

Role of irrigation and water storage

5

6.

Impact of sedimentation on benefits from small dams

6

6.1 Monetary benefits of dams identified by Communities

6

6.2 Benefit Cost Analysis

6

6.3 Water yield reductions due to sedimentation

7

6.4 Impact of sedimentation on community benefits

7

7.

Conclusion

10

Tables

Table 1

Percentage contributions of net benefits, including indirect benefits, to project

impact (from CARE 2000b)

6

Table 2

Water yield reductions due to siltation

7

Table 3

Loss in community benefits due to siltation for 3 scenarios

8

Table 4

Summary statistics showing mean parameters for each of 4 resource group

categories

8

Figures

Figure 1

Subjective assessment of risk to livelihood factors reported by rural communities

in semi- arid Tanzania (Based on data reported in Quinn (2001))

3

Figure 2

Zimbabwean Maize and Sorghum yields as a function of annual rainfall

4

Figure 3

Household incomes as a function of rainfall – Zimbabwe

5

Annexes

Annex 1

Investment by CARE and communities – Small dam rehabilitation project

Annex 2

Literature review

Sedimentation in small dams - impacts on the incomes of poor rural communities

Sedimentation in small dams - impacts on the incomes of poor rural communities

1.

Introduction

This report is an intermediate output from the DFID-funded KAR project R7391 “Uptake of Tools for Mitigating Sedimentation”. It describes the quantitative link between sediment related reductions in the availability of water for irrigation or stock watering, and the incomes of rural communities living in a semi-arid region of Southern Africa. The study was carried out as part of a component of the project which is developing improved methods for planning and designing small community dams in semi-arid areas so as to reduce the impacts of excessive sedimentation on water availability 1 . The series of reports describing the outputs from the small dams component of the project is listed below:

Report Title

Report

Number

Guidelines for predicting and minimising sedimentation in small dams

OD 152

Sedimentation in small dams – impacts on the incomes of poor rural communities

OD TN 118

Sedimentation in small dams – hydrology and drawdown computations

OD TN 119

Sedimentation in small dams – development of catchment characterisation and sediment yield prediction procedures

OD TN 120

Sedimentation in small dams – the potential for catchment conservation, check dams and sediment bypassing to reduce dam siltation rates

OD TN 121

At the start of the project a literature review was carried out on poverty and water use in semi-arid zones (in the context of small dams) (HR Wallingford (2000), attached as annex 2). The conclusions were that while there is a large body of information on poverty, livelihoods, livestock, dams, irrigation and soil and water conservation, there is no information directly linking the impacts of sedimentation on livelihoods and poverty. However there are strong links between the availability of water for agriculture and livestock production, and incomes of the rural poor. Reductions in the availability of water, due to sedimentation in irrigation canals and small dams, will have significant negative impacts on the rural communities reliant on these resources. An attempt to quantify this intuitively obvious linkage for the case of small communal dams is described in this report.

Information used to demonstrate the link between sedimentation and rural incomes is drawn from Zimbabwe and Tanzania, the countries where sedimentation in small dams was studied by this project. Socio-economic data were obtained from a project in

1 The work reported here was carried out following a request from DFID that a “literature review on poverty and water use in semi-arid areas in the context of the use of small dams”, was included in the work programme. (See Appendix 1 of the project inception report, HR Wallingford (2000)).

Sedimentation in small dams - impacts on the incomes of poor rural communities

Zimbabwe which examined the impact on livelihoods of a small dam rehabilitation project funded by DFID (reported in CARE 2000a and 2000b). Information on dam siltation rates and sediment related reductions in dry season water yields were derived from the studies reported in HR Wallingford (2003a and 2003b). References cited in both the report and the literature review are listed in annex 2.

2. Climate variability and rural communities’ perceptions of risk

Semi-arid regions in Southern and Eastern Africa are characterised by highly variable rainfall concentrated in one or two rainy seasons, separated by relatively long dry seasons. Ellis (1996) notes that variability in rainfall is one of the most pervasive and unalterable sources of uncertainty impinging on African pastoral and agro-pastoral systems. The importance of this variability to the livelihoods of the poor in arid and semi-arid regions is obvious in drought years, and access to water ranks very high in communities’ own perceptions of livelihood risks.

This was demonstrated by a DFID funded study of risks to livelihoods, as perceived by rural communities in a semi-arid region in Tanzania. The study was carried out to identify and understand variability in risk, in the context of projects designed to alleviate poverty (Quinn, 2001). Rapid Rural Appraisal methods were applied as part of a survey of twelve villages, in six districts. (Some of these villages are located in the same areas as the small dams surveyed as part of this project.)

An overall ranking of communities’ perceptions of risk to their livelihoods is developed in Quinn (2001) by combining indices of severity of risk and incidence of risk, after responses to open questions concerning risk factors had been grouped into twenty-one categories. Results are shown in Figure 1, which is derived from the data reported in Quinn (2001). Risk to livelihoods associated with access to water has by far the highest ranking, particularly when considered in conjunction with the high perception of risk also associated with “weather” and “irrigation”.

Sedimentation in small dams - impacts on the incomes of poor rural communities

SUBJECTIVE RANKING OF RISK

WITCHCRAFT THEFT ELECTRICITY SHOPS FOREST SUPPORT MARKETS AGE FINANCE AGRI-INPUTS LAND SCHOOL LIVESTOCK
WITCHCRAFT
THEFT
ELECTRICITY
SHOPS
FOREST
SUPPORT
MARKETS
AGE
FINANCE
AGRI-INPUTS
LAND
SCHOOL
LIVESTOCK DISEASE
PESTS
IRRIGATION
WEATHER
HUNGER
DISEASE
TRANSPORT
HOSPITAL
WATER
0.00
0.10
0.20
0.30
0.40
0.50
0.60
0.70
0.80
0.90
1.00

RISK INDEX

Figure 1

Subjective assessment of risk to livelihood factors reported by rural communities in semi-arid Tanzania (Based on data reported in Quinn (2001))

3. Impacts of rainfall variations on agricultural and livestock production

In the SADAC (South African Development and Co-operation) region about 70 % of the population are subsistence farmers who are working on communal land in semi-arid zones, where dryland farming is a risky occupation due to low and erratic rainfall. The effect of rainfall variations on yields of some subsistence crops grown in Zimbabwe is shown in Figure 2, which illustrates the dramatic reduction in yields that occur during drought years. Similar relationships are observed for the production of dry matter grazed by cattle and smaller ruminates. While livestock numbers are affected by several other factors, periods of lower than average rainfall are strongly associated with reductions in both livestock and small stock numbers in communal farming areas (see for example Scoones et al. (1996)).

Sedimentation in small dams - impacts on the incomes of poor rural communities

4. Links between rainfall, incomes and poverty

A study of incomes and poverty in the Chivi communal area of Zimbabwe (Cavendish, 1999) noted that a considerable portion of poor families’ income variation over time is due to rainfall variations, rather than reflecting any long-term trend. Supporting evidence comes from one of the few long-term studies of panel household data from Zimbabwe. Owens and Hoddinott (1998) report income data collected over four years from a random sample of 370 households located in three resettlement schemes in Zimbabwe. The schemes were chosen to represent each of the major agro-ecological zones in Zimbabwe suited to rainfed cropping. Between 1992 and 1996, they found that income from crop production comprised between 70 and 79 percent of household incomes in normal rainfall years, but dropped to 31 percent in the mini drought of 94/95. The strong correlation between annual rainfall and household incomes is shown in Figure 3.

Zimbabwe Maize Yields 1970 to 1993 as a function of mean annual rainfall 3000 2500
Zimbabwe Maize Yields 1970 to 1993 as a function of mean annual rainfall
3000
2500
MaizeYield, kg/ha
Sorghum Yield kg/ha
2000
1500
1000
500
0
0
200
400
600
800
1000
1200
Mean annual rainfall, mm
Mean maize yield kg/ha

Figure 2

Zimbabwean Maize and Sorghum yields as a function of annual rainfall

Sedimentation in small dams - impacts on the incomes of poor rural communities

8000 7000 6000 5000 4000 3000 2000 1000 0 300 400 500 600 700 800
8000
7000
6000
5000
4000
3000
2000
1000
0
300
400
500
600
700
800
900
Average income, Zim$

Mean Annual Rainfall, mm

Figure 3

Household incomes as a function of rainfall – Zimbabwe

5. Role of irrigation and water storage

One means of increasing communities’ resilience to the shocks produced by rainfall variations is to store water in small dams for use in the dry season to irrigate crops and

water cattle. Some of the stored water is used in the dry season, but water is also stored

in the dam in case the following year’s rains fail. Irrigation systems fed directly from

perennial and seasonal rivers also reduce the effects of local rainfall variations, and allow some crops to be grown in water short years when rainfed agriculture would be impossible.

CARE International has carried out a large programme of small dam rehabilitation in Zimbabwe with financial support from DFID and several other donors, based on the premise that a lack of adequate water in semi-arid areas prevents many households from

developing activities that can sustain their livelihoods. When water becomes available it can be put to a wide variety of uses including irrigation, cattle watering, drinking, washing, brick making, etc. While the CARE projects were nominally rehabilitation programmes, in all but a few cases dam heights were increased to recover storage lost

by past siltation, providing on average a 60% increase in capacity. In some cases dams

and spillways have been completely re-built, essentially providing a new dam.

An impact assessment carried out for DFID (CARE, 2000b) showed that a wide range of benefits are reported by communities, the most important being:

Irrigated vegetable gardens provide fresh vegetables for home consumption and sale;

Cash is generated to start new projects;

The security of having stored water nearby.

A summary of the wide range of activities and benefits associated with the small dam

rehabilitation programme, copied from Care (2000b), is presented in Annex 1.

Sedimentation in small dams - impacts on the incomes of poor rural communities

6. Impact of sedimentation on benefits from small dams

6.1 MONETARY BENEFITS OF DAMS IDENTIFIED BY COMMUNITIES

For this study the effect of sedimentation was quantified by considering the effect it has, in monetary terms, on the benefits identified by communities. These are listed for the Gwitma dam, regarded as a typical small dam, in CARE (2000b), which also describes the participatory methodologies used to collect the information.

Irrigated production and improved nutrition and heath provide the largest proportion of the benefits, while in total 80% of the benefits would be affected by reductions in water availability. 2 The initial (before siltation) annual benefit, including indirect benefits, is estimated at 80 % of 1.73 million Z$, i.e. 1.38 million Z$, from the information presented in CARE (2000b).

Table 1

Percentage contributions of net benefits, including indirect benefits, to the project impact (from CARE 2000b)

Component

%

Irrigated production Fishing Livestock watering Dryland farming note 1 Individual fruit trees Common property Fodder for livestock Poultry Increased food security Improved nutrition and health Total

52

0

6

2

13

6

0

1

5

17

100

(Note 1 Excludes contribution to reducing siltation.)

6.2 BENEFIT COST ANALYSIS

Benefit cost analysis, reported in CARE (2000b), shows that small dam rehabilitation projects are likely to have a high Internal Rate of Return, with a Benefit Cost ratio of around 2. Although the CARE analysis considered the impact of sedimentation, the results are insensitive to assumptions about future sedimentation rates. Virtually the same Benefit Cost ratio was obtained for with and without sedimentation scenarios. This is due to the discounting of future costs and benefits, which is a feature of conventional benefit cost analysis 3 . Discounting has the effect of minimising the impact of costs and benefits occurring towards the end of the economic life of a project, and makes the results very dependent on the discount rate that is used. It should not be applied to investigate sustainability issues like sedimentation in dams, as the negative effects of sedimentation are largest at the end of a project, when they have only a small effect on benefit cost ratio, unless an artificially low “social” discount rate is selected. For

2 Some small dam project activities, for example planting fruit trees in the dam catchment, are not affected by sedimentation in a dam. 3 A base rate of 12 % was adopted for the CARE analysis.

Sedimentation in small dams - impacts on the incomes of poor rural communities

example investment in soil conservation at the start of a dam project does not provide significant benefits until the middle and end of the project life, and in spite of the obvious sustainability and environmental benefits is unattractive when analysed using conventional benefit cost calculations. An alternative approach was adopted in this report to analyse the impacts of sedimentation.

6.3 WATER YIELD REDUCTIONS DUE TO SEDIMENTATION

Hydrographic surveys carried out at nine CARE dams in Zimbabwe showed annual siltation rates ranging between 1% and 3% of original dam capacities, with an average of around 2% per annum (HR Wallingford, 2003b). Thus for a “typical” dam the volume of water that can be stored is reduced to 60 % of the original dam storage volume (over the twenty year economic life for dams assumed by CARE). In shallow dams the loss in water yield is significantly larger than the loss in gross storage capacity. This is due to the effects of evaporation, which account for an increasingly larger proportion of the water lost from dams as they silt up and become shallower.

The effects of evaporation in reducing water yields from shallow dams are illustrated in Table 2, which is derived from “drawdown” simulations to determine the dry season water yields 4 for typical CARE small dams. It shows the expected water yield as a proportion of the original yield (i.e. before siltation) for a dam silted by 40 %, and for a range of pre-silted dam spillway heights. It demonstrates the dramatic impact of sedimentation on water yields from shallow dams that are not recharged by perennial base flows or groundwater flows during the dry season.

Table 2

Water yield reductions due to siltation

Silted Capacity

(as a proportion of the original capacity)

Silted Water yield

(As a proportion of the original water yield)

Spillway height = 3 m

Spillway height = 4 m

Spillway height = 5 m

Spillway height = 6 m

Spillway height = 8 m

0.60

0.13

0.34

0.41

0.45

0.49

6.4 IMPACT OF SEDIMENTATION ON COMMUNITY BENEFITS

Making the reasonable assumption that the benefits derived from a small dam reduce over time in proportion to reductions in water yield, and with the information on the monetary value of benefits presented in section 6.1, it is possible to quantify the effects of sedimentation in monetary terms.

Table 3 below shows the loss in community benefits due to siltation over twenty years, for three scenarios. The monetary losses are expressed in Z$ at constant 2000 prices, and are the sum of benefits lost over 20 years. (From section 6.1 the annual benefit without siltation is 1.38 Z$.)

4 Defined here as the maximum volume of water abstracted from a dam over the dry season when the pattern of irrigation abstractions follows crop water demand.

Sedimentation in small dams - impacts on the incomes of poor rural communities

Table 3

Loss in community benefits due to siltation for 3 scenarios

Scenario

Loss in community benefits over 20 years due to sedimentation, Z$ (2000 prices)

% loss

(benefit lost /benefit with no sedimentation)

Deep (8.0m) dam with some dry season recharge and low (1 % per annum ) sedimentation rate

Typical (4.5m) dam with average (2% per annum) sedimentation rate

Shallow (3.0m) dam with high (3% per annum) sedimentation rate

1.65

million

6%

8.55

million

31%

16.84 million

61%

For the “typical” case (a 4.5 metre high dam with an average 2 % per annum sedimentation rate) the benefit lost over 20 years would be 8.55 million Z$, or 82200 Z$ dollars per household for the 104 households that benefit from irrigation (CARE, 2000b). The average annual loss in benefit per household over twenty years is 4110 Z$, at 2000 prices.

To place these totals in context, losses in individual household benefits can be compared to the household cash incomes of dam using communities. Data derived from a number of participatory wealth ranking exercises carried out in Masvingo Province and other areas covered by the small dams project are reported in CARE (2000a). Information describing the four resource groups adopted for the CARE analysis, and derived from Table 3 in CARE (2000a), is summarised in Table 4.

Table 4

Summary statistics showing mean parameters for each of 4 resource group 5 categories

 

RG1

RG2

RG3

RG4

(n=166)

(n=281)

(n=192)

(n=111)

%

of

farmers

in

each

resource

 

category

 

22%

38%

25%

15%

Average household size

 

11.8

9.7

9.1

6.3

Average

income

levels

(Z$

in

1998)

 

7364

4236

3107

1956

Average income levels in 2000 calculated by adjusting 1998 incomes for inflation (Z$ 1

13733

7900

5794

3648

Note 1 Conversion rate based on average exchange rates for Z$ to US $ in 1998 and 2000

5 Participatory wealth ranking exercises were carried out in Masvingo Province and other areas covered by the small dams project. Seven main indicators of resource categories were identified by participants: livestock and implement ownership; use of crop inputs; yields achieved; type of homestead; education level of the head of household and sources of income. Participants in the resource ranking exercises classified themselves into one of the four categories (RG or resource groups) that were considered to provide sufficient differentiation (CARE, 2000a).

Sedimentation in small dams - impacts on the incomes of poor rural communities

The average household income for all resource groups is 8022 Zim $, at 2000 prices. Thus for an average household and a typical dam the average annual benefit lost due to sedimentation is equivalent to 50 % of the average annual household cash income. More detailed data reported in CARE (2000a) show that reliance on irrigated vegetable production represents an increasingly larger proportion of household benefits for the poorer resource groups. The poorest families suffer the most as dams silt up, and the volumes of water available for irrigation and cattle watering reduce. For a typical dam and the poorest resource group, defined in Table 4 above, the loss in benefit due to siltation over twenty years exceeds household cash incomes over the same period.

In dams that are significantly shallower, or have a significantly larger sediment input than the “typical” case considered above, in most cases there will be no useful water abstraction and no benefit to communities by the end of a dam’s twenty-year design life. Unlike run of river irrigation systems benefits cannot in general be sustained by rehabilitation of existing dams or by constructing new dams. This is due to the limited number of feasible dam sites, and a limit imposed by topography on the possibility of increasing existing dam heights to regain lost capacity at an economic cost.

Sedimentation in small dams - impacts on the incomes of poor rural communities

7.

Conclusion

It is concluded that a strong link is demonstrated between sedimentation in dams and the livelihoods of the poorest sectors of the rural dam using communities. This intuitively obvious result justifies investment in technical studies designed to provide tools that enable future sedimentation in small dams to be predicted using simple methods and limited data, and the impacts of remedial measures to be quantified. Sedimentation is a natural and inevitable process. It needs to be considered properly at the site selection stage of dam rehabilitation and construction projects, if the benefits of small dams are not to be rapidly lost, with potentially devastating impacts on the poorest sections of rural communities.

Sedimentation in small dams - impacts on the incomes of poor rural communities

Annexes

Sedimentation in small dams - impacts on the incomes of poor rural communities

Sedimentation in small dams - impacts on the incomes of poor rural communities

Annex 1 Investment by CARE and communities – Small dam rehabilitation project

Both CARE and individual communities have made a number of investments in increasing community resources (or capitals). These include investments in improving physical, natural, social and human capital.

Physical capital Each dam has a number of inter-linked components requiring development of physical capital. This includes:

Dam rehabilitation, which involves repairing or raising the dam wall, or raising or repairing the dam spillway. Fencing the micro-catchment, being the area immediately surrounding each

dam. Irrigation and garden development which includes fencing the irrigated area,

water-conveyancing and storage, toilet construction, conservation works and gully reclamation in the irrigated area. Construction of livestock watering points, usually below the dam, adjacent to the irrigated area.

Construction of shallow wells below the dam for drawing potable drinking water.

Natural capital Protection initially of the geographical catchment through a process of

participatory catchment planning and management, which seeks to conserve and improve the management of both individual and common property resources within the catchment. This comprises:

- On individual property: establishing runoff orchards, improved dryland cropping, soil conservation works and small woodlots.

- On common property, usually grazing areas: gully reclamation, silt traps (stone or vegetative), grazing management and establishment of woodlots.

Social and human capital To support investments in physical and natural capital CARE has provided funds for environmental awareness training, facilitating farmer exchange visits and focus group discussions, as well as training sessions with each community, which has increased their knowledge, technical and management skills. This has been designed to increase local communities' social and human capital. It has led to greater empowerment and social cohesion. It has helped to strengthen local institutions, specifically those which have enabled the project to proceed. This has included, not only dam, irrigation and agronomy or conservation committees, but others which have been established as a result of increased incomes and training. This has included savings clubs, credit groups, poultry clubs, sewing clubs and even socially orientated institutions such as sports clubs.

Decreased vulnerability and an increased sense of security are factors often mentioned by beneficiary communities as being major benefits to them.

Sedimentation in small dams - impacts on the incomes of poor rural communities

Financial capital Building these assets requires an initial investment over a three-four year period and thereafter on-going maintenance. Such investments have also resulted in an increase in financial capital through increased sales, improved access to credit and other farming inputs and improved marketing.

Sedimentation in small dams - impacts on the incomes of poor rural communities

Annex 2 Literature review

A2.1

Introduction

This review was carried out as part of a DFID-funded KAR project R 7391 “Uptake of Tools for Mitigating Sedimentation”. The objective is to investigate the link between sediment related reductions in the availability of water for irrigation or stock watering, and the livelihoods of the communities reliant on these activities.

One of the most pervasive, powerful and unalterable sources of uncertainty impinging on African pastoral and agro-pastoral systems is climate variability (Ellis, 1996). Scoones et al. (1996) point out that there is no better way to reduce rural vulnerability and ensure the viability of people’s livelihoods than to increase the productive base. Proofing the system against drought means strategic investment, which in semi-arid areas should obviously be in water management. Irrigation and the water storage provided by small dams reduce the vulnerability of rural communities to periods of drought.

There is a large body of literature describing the benefits of land husbandry and soil conservation, where downstream impacts such as reduced dam sedimentation are often claimed. However, no references which directly link sedimentation in small dams or irrigation networks with poverty in developing countries have been found. There are many references, however, which link access to water with decreased poverty levels and more secure livelihoods 6 . The approach taken has thus been to summarise the benefits from increased access to water, and then to estimate the impact of sedimentation in small dams and irrigation networks in reducing these benefits. Some examples and case histories follow this. More work is required if the impacts of sedimentation on poverty, and hence the benefits of improved sediment management, are to be quantified.

A2.2

Benefits of increased access to water

It is widely recognised that water is vital for multiple and universally recognised aspects of well-being, health, incomes, safety and freedom from drudgery (World Water Vision – Gender Mainstreaming Project, 2000). DFID point out in their consultative document “Addressing the Water Crisis” (2000), that if people have access to greater quantities of water they can use that water to improve their livelihood security and reduce their vulnerability. They also state that building up secure livelihoods for poor households is the only effective long-term way of eliminating poverty.

In semi-arid zones with erratic rainfall, access to water is directly linked to the incomes of the rural poor. An example from Zimbabwe (Chapter 2, Box 1) shows that there is a strong correlation between rainfall and income, with rainfall variation resulting in substantial variation in household real incomes. The direct linkage between rainfall variations, stock numbers and incomes of pastoralists in the semi-arid regions of sub- Saharan Africa is also well researched (see for example Scoones (1995) and Scoones et al. (1996)). Cattle provide a variety of functions in the communal areas, ranging from draught power for ploughing and transport, to milk and manure production, to capital

6 IDS’s definition of livelihood is: A livelihood comprises the capabilities, assets (including both material and social resources) and activities required for a means of living. A livelihood is sustainable when it can cope with and recover from stresses and shocks, maintain or enhance its capabilities and assets, while not undermining the natural resource base.

Sedimentation in small dams - impacts on the incomes of poor rural communities

growth or sale. A number of researchers have made calculations of the value of these functions (Dankwerts, 1974; Barrett, 1992; Scoones, 1992) and they conclude that the value of cattle in the communal lands is high.

Small dams

The water collected in small dams has many uses in rural areas, for example:

Livestock;

Irrigation (cash and food crop cultivation);

Domestic use;

Home gardens, trees and other permanent vegetation;

Fish;

Other enterprises such as brick making and pottery.

(CARE, 2000; DFID, 2000; World Water Vision, 2000)

Thus, an increase in available water, through the provision and maintenance of small dams, can have a positive impact on rural households, the rural economy and the environment in a number of ways, including:

Improved food security at all levels (FAO, 1996; Pinstrup-Anderson and Pandya- Lorch, 1999);

Improved health and nutrition (Barker and van Koppen, 1999);

Increased cash incomes resulting from the sale of produce (Cavendish, 1999);

Time saving – fewer trips to water collection points for domestic water and livestock water (usually a task undertaken by women) (Rathgeber, 1996; CARE,

2000);

Reduced risk due to the ability of a community to withstand shocks such as drought (von Braun et al., 1999; World Water Vision, 2000);

Increase in livestock numbers (Sweet, 1988);

Groundwater recharge.

Irrigation

There is substantial evidence that irrigation reduces poverty (Chapter 2, Box 2). The FAO (1996) states that, in developing countries, irrigation can increase yields for most crops by 100 to 400%, whilst also allowing farmers to reap the economic benefits of growing higher-value cash crops. Shah (1993) points out that the artificial supply of water brings a range of benefits to individuals and households, which can be distinguished as ‘primary’ and ‘spillover’ benefits.

Primary Benefits

Increased intensity of cropping.

Improved yields.

Increased and more stable flow of income from farming.

A more secure supply of fodder for livestock.

Spillover Benefits

Increased and more evenly spread farm labour opportunities.

Reduced out-migration.

Improved security against impoverishment.

More water for non-agricultural uses including domestic uses that improve health.

Sedimentation in small dams - impacts on the incomes of poor rural communities

Ensure some production output even in drought years.

Lower food prices and better nutrition throughout the year.

A2.3

Impacts of Sedimentation

Sediment runoff from catchments in semi-arid zones in Africa, south of the Sahara, range from a few hundred to several thousand tons/km 2 /year, with large inter-annual variations between wet and drought periods, corresponding to wet and dry years (Walling, 1983 and 1988). Sediment concentrations carried by rivers show wide variations, but typically range between a few hundred to several thousand ppm by weight. For example, data for the rivers draining to the south and east of Zimbabwe indicated mean sediment concentrations ranging between 1000ppm and 10,000ppm (Bake, 1986).

Virtually all the sediment in the water entering a dam is trapped, and as dams are often designed with capacities that are much smaller than the annual runoff (to ensure that they fill in drier than average years) sedimentation rates in small dams can be very rapid. For example, Elwell (1985) reports that over 50% of the 132 dams surveyed in Masvingo Province in Zimbabwe were severely silted. The Takavarasha dam in Chivi was completed in 1985 and, according to local information, lost 100% of its storage capacity over the next two years (Hart-Frost, 1999). However, excessive siltation is not inevitable, and some of the older dams in the Masvingo region have functioned for many decades. If the benefits of small dams are to be sustained, they must be located, sized, and operated so that excessive sedimentation is avoided. (CARE Zimbabwe assumes a twenty-year economic life for the dams included in their small dam rehabilitation programme – which seems a reasonable minimum requirement).

The sediment transporting capacity of irrigation channels is usually limited to a few hundred ppm of bed material sediment. Canals silt up when larger sediment concentrations are diverted from rivers. This not only imposes an excessive maintenance burden on farmers or scheme operators, but the reduced conveyance capacities reduce the areas that can be irrigated. Specific data on desilting inputs or sediment related irrigated area reductions are not widely available outside the records in Agency-managed schemes. Information collected in the Philippines by HR Wallingford 2 , showed that, in spite of substantial expenditure on canal desilting, the areas actually irrigated in sediment affected systems ranged between 60% and 75% of the original design area. This indicates the scale of sediment related reductions on the availability of water.

2 Where river sediment loads are of the same order to those in parts of sub-Saharan Africa.

Sedimentation in small dams - impacts on the incomes of poor rural communities

A2.4

Income Levels

Case Studies and examples

The example below cites the correlation between rainfall and income, but can also be applied to available water in dams and income levels. If the capacity of a dam decreases due to sedimentation, then the water available for production will therefore also fall, thus having a similar impact on production and incomes as drought.

Box 1

A study of Incomes and Poverty in the Chivi communal area of Zimbabwe (Cavendish, 1999) noted that a considerable portion of income variation over time is due to rainfall variations, rather than reflecting any long-term trend. Supporting evidence comes from one of the few long-term studies of panel household data from Zimbabwe. Looking at the years 1992/93 to 1995/96, they found that income from crop production comprised between 70 and 79 percent of household incomes in normal rainfall years but dropped to 31 percent in the mini drought of 94/95. During the same period, average real per capita incomes ranged between Z$800 and Z$1,000 in normal rainfall years, and fell to approximately Z$500 in 94/95, leading to the conclusion that rainfall variation results in substantial variation in household real incomes. There is a strong correlation between rainfall and income.

Water collection, irrigation and agricultural production

The World Water Council (2000) stated in its World Water Vision that it is imperative that ways are found to develop water supplies – that is, store water for later use, with lower economic, social and environmental costs. These could be small dams, groundwater recharge and traditional small-scale water storage techniques and rainwater harvesting.

The FAO (1996) found that collecting runoff and using it to irrigate crops, pastures and trees significantly improves both yields and the reliability of agricultural production. Experience from Burkino Faso, the Sudan and Kenya shows that rain harvested from one hectare, for supplementary irrigation of another, can triple or even quadruple production.

Sedimentation in small dams - impacts on the incomes of poor rural communities

Box 2

Studies in India in 1988 demonstrated the inverse relationship between the incidence of poverty and the extent of irrigation development. For districts where less than 10% of gross cropped area was irrigated, 69% of the population had incomes below the poverty line, while in districts where irrigation covered more than 50% of the crop area, the poverty incidence was only 26% (World Bank, 1991).

McCully (1999) points out that small villages in India are showing how small dams, built by the people and for the people with the help of non-governmental organisations, have helped to improve the lives of all those living and farming in the surrounding areas.

The Matam Agricultural Development Project in Senegal restored and built village irrigation systems and provided watering points for pastoralists. The project increased food security. Rice production in the restored areas increased from 2-3 to 5.5 tonnes per hectare (IFAD, 1998).

In the 1970s, two highly ecologically degraded and economically destitute villages in India – Realegan Siddhi in Maharashtra and Sukhomarjri in Haryana, started rainwater harvesting. With more water available, these villages slowly improved and stabilised their agricultural and animal husbandry outputs and are today food exporters rather than food importers (World Water Council, 2000).

Whiteside (1997) highlights that small dams providing water for human consumption, small stock and small-scale fruit and vegetable production have the potential to encourage more sustainable smallholder agriculture in Botswana.

Many countries, when investigating the causes of poverty, have found that agriculture (in particular, a better supply of irrigation water) is a key strategy for reducing poverty.

Sedimentation in small dams - impacts on the incomes of poor rural communities

Box 3 In Mozambique, where about 70% of Mozambicans live in absolute poverty, a National Household living standards survey was carried out and reported on by IFPRI (International Food Policy Research Institute), the Ministry of Planning and Finance, and Eduardo Mondlane University in Maputo. The study highlighted six elements of a prospective poverty alleviation strategy for Mozambique, which included as one of its points – raising agricultural productivity as well as improving rural infrastructure. The report highlights that the relatively high levels of poverty in the agricultural sector reflect currently low levels of production in that sector. The results also indicate that increasing the size of land held by small landholders will not reduce poverty unless productivity-improving investments are made in irrigation (Datt and Jolliffe, 1999).

Similarly in Egypt, a series of studies undertaken by IFPRI in conjunction with the Egyptian Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation (MALR) and the Ministry of Trade and Supply (MOTS), provides a profile of poverty and examines the complex interaction among poverty-related variables. This report also concludes that better supply of irrigation has a positive effect on livelihoods and living standards (Datt et al., 2000).

Water and Livestock

Livestock are central to the livelihoods of the rural poor in developing countries in at least six ways (Livestock in Development, 1998):

1)

They are an important source of cash income;

2)

They are one of the few assets available to the poor, especially poor women;

3) Livestock manure and draught power are vital for the preservation of soil fertility and the sustainable intensification of farming systems in many developing areas facing increasing population density; 4) Livestock allow the poor to exploit common property resources, such as open grazing areas, in order to earn income;

5)

Livestock products enable farmers to diversify incomes, helping to reduce income

6)

variability, especially in semi-arid systems characterised by one cropping season per year; Livestock provide a vital and often the only source of income for the poorest and most marginal of the rural poor, such as pastoralists, sharecroppers and widows.

However, livestock productivity is constrained by water stress. McDonald et al. (1990) state that calves require around 9 litres of water per day during their faster growing periods and sheep around 5 litres per day. During major periods of water stress (drought) it is the poorest households who lose the largest share of their herds due to their inability to secure adequate water and feed (von Braun et al., 1999).

Fluctuations in livestock numbers are likely to be similar to the ones described in the example below, if access to water from small dams is diminished due to sedimentation. Health, incomes and livelihoods in general will therefore be affected.

Sedimentation in small dams - impacts on the incomes of poor rural communities

Box 4 Sweet (1998) presents a case study from Namibia entitled: Livestock – coping with

drought. He found that the numbers of cattle and small stock fluctuate considerably

in response to high and low rainfall years. It was also found that mortality rates were

greater in the communal areas than the commercial areas. This is because the commercial farmers have higher cash reserves to buy water and feed. During the low

rainfall period in 1992, communal area households lost approximately a quarter of their average monthly incomes due to crop losses, livestock mortality and reduced employment opportunities (Deveraux et al., 1993).

A study on drought contingency planning to support pastoralist livelihoods in Ethiopia

found that a lack of water initially leads to a lack of feed for livestock (UNDP, 1997). Under-nourishment then results in a decline in milk yields, an increase in disease and

death of the more vulnerable animals. Livestock prices then fall, subsequently resulting in further poverty and more deaths. FAO (2000) state that the most negative impact of cattle mortality and poor body condition (lack of water) is the lack of milk for human consumption, particularly for children. When animals die, it leads to severe food security problems in communities dependent on livestock. Livestock production is crucial for the survival and well-being of pastoral communities. Livestock are less resistant to disease after being weakened by the lack of water and feed (FAO, 2000).

A study on livelihoods and food security in Ethiopia’s Somali Region, showed that

increasing investment in burkas (cement-lined water catchments) have allowed

previously nomadic households to settle permanently, maintain herds and even engage

in agriculture in areas that had previously been too dry for these purposes. These

changes also increased the herders’ incomes (USAID, 1998).

In

Egypt in the mid-1970’s, Fitch and Soliman (1983) found that an average of 63%

of

the income of landless or near landless households came from livestock. Only 14%

of

the income of large landowners came from livestock.

Von Braun and Pandya-lorch (1991) identify four countries where the malnourished obtain a greater part of their incomes from livestock than those who are not malnourished.

Women, domestic water and health

In many countries, water scarcity represents a critical constraint to food production and

a major cause of poverty and hunger.

household subsistence. When their access to productive resources (such as water) declines, more people suffer from poverty and its related effects, including hunger, malnutrition and illness. Improving women’s access to resources and services increases farm productivity, provides a more efficient use of resources, and ultimately yields higher profitability, as the time spent fetching water would be decreased.

Women are often the major suppliers of

Sedimentation in small dams - impacts on the incomes of poor rural communities

Box 5 Coppock (1994) reports that in the Sidamo regions of Ethopia, women spend around 12% of their waking time fetching water to meet household needs. Their source is normally a well or spring that lies an average of 14km from home. Nearer, alternative sources of water would therefore have a large impact on the livelihoods of these women.

Von Wijk-Sijbesa (1985) states that water collection is not only energy consuming, but may also have detrimental consequences. Carrying heavy water pots, for instance, is mentioned as a primary cause of pelvic distortion, which in turn may lead to death in child-birth.

Seager and Olson (1986) highlighted that it is women who collect, cook with and wash family and home using local water. If the water store is far away, unclean, or in short supply, it is primarily women who suffer from the resulting fatigue and disease. And it is the women who are held responsible for the poor health of their families when polluted water and inadequate sanitation make the practice of good hygiene either difficult or well-nigh impossible.

Investment in water supplies for villages improves health and nutrition in the community as a whole. A secure water supply improves the lives of women and children who usually bear the brunt of collecting and carrying water. It creates new opportunities for income, such as rearing and fattening small ruminants, growing vegetables and small-scale food processing (IFAD, 1998).

Water scarcity has also been linked to a decline in water quality, which has an especially adverse impact on the poor. Many of the poorest people in developing countries, where water is scarce, are forced to drink water that is unfit for human consumption, often leading to a range of skin and internal diseases and health problems (Barker and van Koppen, 1999).

A2.5

Conclusions

The review has shown that while there is a large body of information on poverty, sustainable livelihoods, livestock and dams, small-scale irrigation and soil and water conservation, there is very little specific information directly linking the impacts of sedimentation on livelihoods and poverty. However there are strong links between the availability of water and incomes of the poor. Reductions in the availability of water due to sedimentation in irrigation channels or small dams thus have significant negative impacts on communities reliant on these resources for their livelihoods.

The review has illustrated these linkages but has not quantified them. This task would require a substantial study, requiring additional support if it is to be carried out within the existing KAR project. An alternative would be to use the information to be collected on the benefits arising from the CARE small dam rehabilitation programme in Zimbabwe to develop a specific case study quantifying the links between sedimentation in dams and reduced benefits to the poor.

Sedimentation in small dams - impacts on the incomes of poor rural communities

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