Do orphaned girls spend more time on water collection? Evidence from rural Zambia

Yasuharu Shimamura, Satoshi Shimizutani, Shimpei Taguchi, Hiroyuki Yamada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Orphanhood has long-term adverse effects on human capital formation but its short-run effects are mixed. We examine the short-run effect of improved access to safe water on orphans’ outcomes in rural Zambia. We utilize a unique dataset collected in a quasi-experimental setting from a groundwater development project and employ a difference-in-differences approach. We do not detect any immediate effect from new water access on health and educational outcomes. However, we observe a larger increase in time spent on water collection and water-related household chores for orphaned girls than for non-orphans living with their biological mothers. We conclude that orphaned girls are disadvantaged in that they are more responsible for collecting water and related household chores under improved access to safe water, although the availability of safe water per se benefits the whole population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)124-130
Number of pages7
JournalVulnerable Children and Youth Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Orphans
  • Zambia
  • borehole
  • fetching water
  • groundwater development
  • time use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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