WAHARA - Water Harvesting for Rainfed Africa

Introduction to the WAHARA project

In the variety of contexts in Africa – from arid to humid – the availability of water has become increasingly important, making an improved capture and usage of water essential. To ensure a continuous water supply for agricultural crops, water harvesting has been carried out in the earliest agricultural practices; however the environment has changed, as well as the number of people depending on it.

This is where the WAHARA project will make a difference: four countries, four pilot projects, one goal: increasing the potential of water harvesting.

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WAHARA article published on HORIZON

This week, an article was published on the European Research & Innovation Magazine 'Horizon' about the work that WAHARA has been doing in Ethiopia. The article describes the work of Dr. Kifle Woldemariam and his colleagues, and the results they have achieved in the context of water harvesting. 

So-called water harvesting on small-scale farms over the past four years has helped annual crop yields rise from 500 to 5 000 kilogrammes per hectare, when combined with other soil management measures, according to Dr Kifle Woldemariam, coordinator of the Ethiopian study site for the WAHARA research project.

On average, the Ethiopian smallholders involved in the project have around half a hectare of land that they use to raise crops and livestock to feed their families and make a living.

'With this much land, if they can get enough water and improve their soil through different management practices, they are able to support their families,' Dr Woldemariam said. ‘Otherwise they could remain food insecure, as they are all small-scale farmers who are very poor and very sensitive to various rainfall and climate related challenges.'

The complete article can be read online here: http://horizon-magazine.eu/article/harvesting-water-ethiopia_en.html

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