The potential of Roadwater Harvesting: A Malawian Demonstration
Posted by Macpherson Nthara and Abraham Abhishek
March 21, 2018
Farmers examining the roadside pits
In January 2018, a group of farmers in Malawi’s central Lilongwe district visited sites where water harvesting pits had been dug along rural roads. The pits caught rainwater and runoff, enabled it to percolate, recharge groundwater, and improve soil moisture levels in adjacent fields.
Crops grown with a combination of ‘no-tillage’ sowing and Road Water Harvesting are considerably healthier than those in control plots
The farmer who agreed to let percolation pits be dug next to his road-adjacent field
The effect of the pits is visible in the water levels in them (this is after just a few days of rain); and in the improved soil moisture and good health of the crops in the adjacent fields.