Research for policy and practice

ESRC-DFID Research for Policy and Practice: water security

Photo: Pastoralists in the Afar Region, Ethiopia. Photo credit: © WEEP, Cranfield University.

All too often in water management, short-term gains for the few are prioritised above long-term benefits for the many. Draws on research into the realities facing people for whom water insecurity is a daily threat in Burkina Faso and Ethiopia.

Focus projects: 

Pastoralists in the Afar Region, Ethiopia

Pastoralists are farmers who raise livestock, and move their herds in search of fresh pasture and water supplies. There are 12 million in Ethiopia and they are often in extreme poverty. Unfortunately the pastures they use are disputed and they often come into conflict with other land users. The changing climate is altering resource availability and this can make the conflicts worse. The government is trying to persuade them to diversify their farming activities and grow arable crops as well.

Effective community-based management of common pool resources (CPR) in contexts facing environmental degradation and social conflict is urgently required to sustainably move people worldwide towards a decent level of human well-being, as sought in the Sustainable Development Goals. In the seasonally dry tropics, water stored in reservoirs.