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Links between biogas technology adoption and health status of households in rural Tigray, Northern Ethiopia

Nigussie Abadi, Kindeya Gebrehiwot, Ataklti Techane and Hailish Nerea

Energy Policy, 2017, vol. 101, issue C, 284-292

Abstract: Many Ethiopians face quality of life and livelihood challenges associated with sub-optimal sanitation, dependence on biomass energy, and decreasing agricultural productivity. To mitigate these livelihood challenges, the government of Ethiopia has recognized the need for a national policy framework, which encourages the uptake of biogas technology. However, despite expectations of improved health and livelihood outcomes from biogas technology, rigorous impact evaluations of existing biogas interventions in Ethiopia do not exist. In this paper, we investigated the impact of biogas technology adoption on indoor air pollution (IAP) health symptoms in a sample of 200 households in the Tigray Region of Ethiopia. The average treatment effect results of the study revealed that households with small-scale biogas technology have significantly lower incidence of IAP-related illness than comparison (non-adopter) households in the matched sample. Consequently, small-scale biogas adopters spent less money for medication and had less absentee days from work due to illness. Results also show that biogas adopters spent less time per year collecting fuel energy. Overall, these findings are grounds for optimism about the potential for small-scale biogas to improve human capital formation through better health, which is one the major targets of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Keywords: Green energy; Biogas; Ex-ante impact assessment; Indoor air pollution; Ethiopia (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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