U bent hier
Rainwater harvesting technologies in the Sahelian zone of West Africa and the potential for outscaling
In West Africa, especially in the Sahelian countries of Burkina Faso, Niger, Mali, and Mauritania, erratic rainfall sequences within and between years has often led to a high uncertainty in rainfed crop production. Over the past three decades, severe food shortages attributed to drought have been frequently reported in several Sahelian countries, most of which are amongst the least developed of the world. The long dry periods affecting the majority of the arid and semi-arid countries in West Africa are associated with famine, displacement of populations, and loss of previously fertile land. One of the challenges of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) is to reduce poverty and hunger and ensure successful interventions are reported in rainfed agriculture in West Africa, which are transforming the livelihoods of many resource poor smallholder farmers. Innovative and indigenous ways to achieve improved crop yields through integrated land and water management such as rainwater harvesting and soil water conservation have been successfully tested and, in some cases, adopted in West Africa. This paper highlights the successful interventions of improved indigenous rainwater harvesting/soil water conservation technologies such as Zaï or tassa, stone rows and halfmoon in the Sahelian zones of West Africa over the past 10 years, and their contributions to enhancing food security and alleviating poverty. The potential for adoption of these technologies at the farm level and their outscaling to areas with similar agroecological zones are also discussed.