Rainwater harvesting in Ghana

Extreme rainfall and intra seasonal dry spells in northern Ghana cause water shortages on farms, of which 95 percent is rain fed. These water shortages have an impact on crop growth and result in lower crop yields. It is expected that the unpredictability of rainfall in Africa will increase with climate change in the coming decades, likely resulting in more dry spells.

For his Civil Engineering master thesis, Guus Wiersma was in Ghana to measure the water balance in a maize field and talked to farmers to investigate the possibilities of applying rainwater harvesting. Rainwater harvesting could help the farmers to capture and store more water during heavy rain. This could help reduce the chances of water shortages to occur during dry periods.


This research is part of Water for Impact, the water research programme of TU Delft | Global Initiative. TU Delft | Global Initiative actively supports researchers and students working on solutions that contribute to reaching the UN Sustainable Development Goals, with a particular focus on Sub-Saharan Africa and South-East Asia and always in co-creation with local partners. To learn more about the Initiative and how students can get involved, visit tudelft.nl/global.