The objective of this paper was to examine farmer-directed technology adaptation of selected water harvesting technologies (WHTs) in order to enhance their potential contribution to food security and livelihood improvement in sub-Saharan Africa. The selected WHTs included micro- and meso-scale reservoirs that store water in the soil (in situ) or in a reservoir, respectively: household ponds in Ethiopia, ndiva systems in Tanzania and combinations of mechanized zaï, grass strips and bunds in Burkina Faso. The impact of non-adapted WHTs was below expectation. Although WHTs improved yields, most families were unable to meet their (nutritional) food needs every year and experienced limited or no long-term effects on sustainable livelihood. The lining of household ponds and conveyance canals with durable materials gave promising results, yet needs economic consideration; a minimum investment may form a barrier particularly to resource-poor farmers. Incorporation of the location-specific nature of farming and livelihoods into WHT interventions is recommended, along with incentive measures to support farmers including the provision of access to credits and inputs for agricultural production.
|Title of host publication||Rainwater-Smart Agriculture in Arid and Semi-Arid Areas|
|Subtitle of host publication||Fostering the Use of Rainwater for Food Security, Poverty Alleviation, Landscape Restoration and Climate Resilience|
|Editors||Walter Leal Filho, Josep de Trincheria Gomez|
|Publisher||Springer International Publishing Switzerland|
|Number of pages||25|
|Publication status||Published - 2018|
- Arid and semi-arid areas