Environmental degradation and intra-household welfare: the case of the Tanzanian rural South Pare Highlands

R.L. Dimoso

Research output: Thesisinternal PhD, WU


Key words: Environmental degradation, intrahousehold labour allocation, intrahousehold welfare.
Rural south Pare highlands in Tanzania experience a deteriorating environmental situation. Of particular importance is the disappearance of forests and woodlands. The consequence are declining amounts and reliability of rainfall, declining amounts of water levels and loss of biodiversity. Deterioration of environmental resources increases costs of collecting environmental products, which in many respects have no feasible close substitutes. One of the major components of the increased costs is labour time allocated by household members to collecting environmental products and/or grazing activities.
This study presents an empirical investigation of the impact of this reallocation of intra-household labour resources on livelihood for different members of a household. We used the cross-sectional data. To analyse how variations in the environmental degradation affect intra-household labour allocation, three types of areas are distinguished: severely-degraded, medium-degraded, and non-degraded environments.
Our findings show that (1) the environmental products collection and/or grazing activities are gender biased with husbands specializing in grazing while wives and children working mainly on fetching water and fuel wood; and that the labour time allocation is significantly influenced by environmental condition; (2) environmental degradation is limiting the production and consumption potentials in the area and that a limited adoption of agricultural modernization further aggravates this problem; (3) factors like school crowdedness, illness, bad weather, poor school quality, and school absenteeism due to street vending contribute much negatively to the probability of primary school attainment for a child apart from the environmental degradation situation; and that (4) subjective welfare and well-being of the household members are affected by the quality of the environment.
This study contributes to the understanding of the situation and setting proper measures towards solving the problems of sustainable development, poverty alleviation, environmental policy, human capital formation in south Pare.

Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Wageningen University
  • Antonides, Gerrit, Promotor
Award date12 Jun 2009
Place of Publication[S.l.
Print ISBNs9789085852889
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • environmental degradation
  • labour allocation
  • welfare economics
  • household surveys
  • households
  • rural areas
  • agricultural households
  • natural resources
  • gender relations
  • women
  • tanzania
  • household behaviour


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