Implications of environmental chores for schooling: Children's time fetching water and firewood in Tanzania

Deborah Levison, Deborah S. DeGraff, Esther W. Dungumaro

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    21 Scopus citations


    In many developing countries, children devote substantial time to collecting firewood and fetching water. Is there a connection between such time-consuming work and children's schooling? If so, environmental degradation may have serious detrimental implications for children's education. To explore this question, this case study set in rural Tanzania uses evidence collected from children and their mothers about children's environmental chores. Although the sample is small, we find some descriptive quantitative evidence as well as qualitative evidence from focus groups with children supporting such a link, consistent with the results from the few econometric analyses set in Africa. We also document substantial demands by schools for students to fetch water. The proposed conceptual framework takes into account confounding factors including school-related violence, which affected more than one-third of the children in this study. We make a case for future research based on larger data collection projects designed to explore these issues more fully.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)217-234
    Number of pages18
    JournalEuropean Journal of Development Research
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - Apr 1 2018

    Bibliographical note

    Publisher Copyright:
    © 2017 European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI).


    • Child labor
    • Environmental chores
    • Fuel wood
    • Natural resource collection
    • Schooling
    • Tanzania
    • Water


    Dive into the research topics of 'Implications of environmental chores for schooling: Children's time fetching water and firewood in Tanzania'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this