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Dealing with Drought: The Challenge of Fusing Water System Technologies to Break Dryland Poverty Traps

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This report explores strategies among farmers in semi-arid Tanzania to cope with drought, and investigates if access to a local supplemental irrigation system (the Ndiva system) can improve coping capacity. Results show high dependency on local ecosystem services when harvests fail, and indicate that farmers commonly exhaust asset holdings during droughts. Ndiva access did not have any direct effects on coping capacity, but seemed to have some indirect effects. Drawing on these findings the complexity of escaping persistent dry land poverty and the circumstances under which small-scale water system technologies, such as Ndiva irrigation, may help are discussed.