Water harvesting in Kenya
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CTA. 1988. Water harvesting in Kenya. Spore 13. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to cite or share this item: https://hdl.handle.net/10568/44782
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Several new water harvesting schemes are being tried in northern Kenya, which is very prone to drought. In a food for work programme, international agencies, including World Food Programme and Oxfam, are encouraging the Turkana people to construct...
Several new water harvesting schemes are being tried in northern Kenya, which is very prone to drought. In a food for work programme, international agencies, including World Food Programme and Oxfam, are encouraging the Turkana people to construct micro-catchments on gently sloping land so that fuelwood trees can be established and the pasture improved for cattle. Micro-catchments are small areas between 100 and 300 sq m in area bounded by banks or low stone walls and are a particularly effective form of water harvesting since relatively little water is lost by evaporation or infiltration. A single tree is planted at the lowest point of each microcatchment, where all the rainwater collects. Several sorghum plants can also be grown in the lower area, giving an immediate return of fod as well as the longer terrm benefits of timber, fuelwood and soil conservation. The micro-catchments are usually excavated on slopes between 0.5 - 30 and are built with their tips on the contour; this allows excess water to spill evenly out of the depression and flow down-slope to the next series of catchments or onto a natural drainage line. The most favoured trees species in Turkana are those than can be used for browse and fuelwood such as Prosopis chilensis and Acacia tortilis.
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