Environmental goods collection and children’s schooling: evidence from Kenya
This study examines the link between environmental goods collection and children schooling in Kiambu District, Kenya. The study was carried out against the increasing consensus in the literature on household dependence on natural resources and the suggested consequences on households investing more time in collection of those scarce resources especially firewood and water. Children schooling is measured as the child’s school attendance and performance in school. Our study uses data collected from 200 households using a detailed questionnaire. The sample had 609 children from Lari, Ndeiya and Kikuyu Divisions of Kiambu District. The descriptive statistics indicates that children are involved in both decisions of resource collection and school attendance. Since the two decisions are jointly determined we first estimate the bivariate probit model. In addition, possible endogeneity of resource collection work in the school attendance equation is corrected for, using instrumental variable Probit estimation. The probit model was also estimated for the performance model. The results support the hypothesis of a negative relationship between children resource collection work and their likelihood of attending school. The results also suggest that performance in school does not depend on environmental goods/resource collection work of children. Finally the study recommends ways of increasing water supply to reduce the time children spend on collecting it and ways of substituting firewood.