Female-headed households, private transfer entitlements and drought relief in rural Botswana.

Type Journal Article - Population growth and environmental degradation in Southern Africa.
Title Female-headed households, private transfer entitlements and drought relief in rural Botswana.
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 1994
Page numbers 119-145
URL http://www.cabdirect.org/abstracts/19951812259.html;jsessionid=7E72F9CE1DE79306C060D0D3957A9E02
The chapter examines how Botswana's entitlement protection system served to support rural household incomes, in particular those of female-headed households (FHHS), to assist rural households in coping with drought and its famine potential and in positioning themselves for recovery. The transfer entitlements considered here are private transfers, urban-rural remittances, and public transfers, under the drought relief programme. The data sources are the 1974/75 Rural Income Distribution Survey and 1985/86 Household Income and Expenditure Survey, with supporting data from the governments's drought relief programme. The data used suggest that the public transfer entitlements to rural households played a major role in sustaining the rural economy during the six year drought and into the recovery period. With much of this support being targeted toward the rural poor and other vulnerable groups, the distribution of income in Botswana has not worsened to the extent that the trends in agricultural sector production would suggest. Despite the effects of prolonged drought and post-drought on the rural economy, rural intra-sectoral income disparities did not worsen significantly. On average, FHHS required and received more assistance to sustain their levels of income and consumption during this period than did male-headed households. It is not conclusive whether the FHHS have been strengthened in any long-term way by the government's support, and the future economic health of these vulnerable groups is unclear.

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