The Role of Rain Water Harvesting for Food security in Ethiopia (A Review)

Abayneh Wubetu


Ethiopia, a country with an area of 1.2 million km2 is located in the region that is known as the Horn of Africa. Agriculture is the back bone of the country’s economy and mainly practiced under rain-fed conditions. The main type of farming system was mixed farming that involves the production of crops and rearing of livestock mainly for subsistence. Ethiopia is the second most populous country in Africa with a total population estimated at 90 million with a growth rate of 2.6 percent and the majority of the population lives in the rural areas and depends on agriculture as their primary source of livelihood. Rain-fed agriculture in arid and semi-arid areas of Ethiopia is suffering from moisture stress due to drought which is a major limiting factor for successful crop production which intern results food insecurity. In Ethiopia recurrent drought, low productivity, population pressure, flooding, Rural-urban migration, poor saving trends, Lack of infrastructure, Poor rural asset base, Low education level were the factors for  food insecurity. Surprisingly, Ethiopia is well-endowed with water resources. The total annual runoff is estimated at 110 billion m3 however, much of which are carried away by trans-boundary Rivers. Groundwater reserves are estimated at 2.6 billion m3. Even if these natural resource bases have a potential for supporting a far greater number of people than the current population food shortages and high levels of malnutrition continue to affect a large number of people in several parts of the country. Therefore, RWH is one option to use runoff in a better way by capturing and storing when rainfall is abundant for periods when water is scarce. So, different sources such as journals, proceedings, thesis works, symposium and annual reports have been reviewed in this paper to emphasize the role of RWH for food security in Ethiopia.

Keywords: Rain water harvesting, Food Security, Poverty, Ethiopia

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3208 ISSN (Online)2225-093X

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