Building on a Tradition of Rainwater Harvesting

Rainwater harvesting is a term which only became widely talked about in the early 1980s. The basic concept of rainwater harvesting for plant production is very attractive: instead of allowing run-off to cause erosion, it is collected and concentrated in the fields for better crops. Rainwater harvesting, in effect is a productive soil-and-water conservation. This makes very good sense for the semi-arid areas of sub-Saharan Africa, where a third or more of the meagre rainfall is lost through runoff. In the field, however, things are not so straightforward. Pastoralists in sub-Saharan Africa are often part-time cultivators as well, and they manage to make the most of irregular rainfall by harvesting rainwater, using traditional techniques. Will Critchley argues that these methods can sustain a delicate balance between cropping and pastoralism which is both environmentally and socially appropriate.

1989 , Will Critchley

PDF ,Practical Action , English


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