- Start date: 1 March 2011
- End date: 29 January 2016
- Partners and collaborators: EU FP7 Africa Integrated project (sponsor), Alterra (Netherlands, co-ordinator), MetaMeta BV (Netherlands), Institut des Régions Arides (Tunisia), Institut de l'Environnement et de Researches Agricoles (Burkina Faso), Mekelle University (Ethiopia), Golden Valley Agricultural Research Trust (Zambia) and Wageningen University (Netherlands)
- Co-investigators: Dr Brian Irvine, Professor Mike Kirkby
External primary investigator
Dr Luuk Fleskens
WAHARA takes a transdisciplinary approach to develop innovative, locally adapted water harvesting solutions with wider relevance for rainfed Africa. Water harvesting technologies play a key role in bringing about an urgently needed increase in agricultural productivity, and to improve food and water security in rural areas. Water harvesting technologies enhance water buffering capacity, contributing to the resilience of African drylands to climate variability and climate change, as well as to socioeconomic changes such as population growth and urbanisation.
To ensure the continental relevance of project results, research will concentrate on four geographically dispersed study sites in Tunisia, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia and Zambia, covering diverse socio-economic conditions and a range from arid to sub-humid climates. The project emphasizes: i) selecting and adapting technologies that have synergies with existing farming systems and that are preferred by local stakeholders, yet tap from a global repertoire of innovative options; ii) using models, water harvesting systems will be designed for maximum impact without compromising downstream water-users, contributing to sustainable regional development; iii) learning lessons from local experiences, and developing guidelines on how technologies can be adapted to different conditions; and iv) developing a strategy to scale up successes achieved locally within a region and across regions, promoting knowledge exchange at continental scale.
€2.6 million of which £377,972 in Leeds