Conventional, non-rainwater harvesting technologies as used in mainstream interventions are often not feasible or viable. This makes people in the water-stressed, remote and marginalized areas (that cover the majority of Mali’s territory) depend upon alternative and innovative solutions. This dependency gives way to a high potential for rainwater harvesting in Mail, particularly given the relatively high rainfall in many places (between 500 and 1300 mm) and relatively short rainfall period.
The Malian government has adopted a national IWRM Action Plan in 2008 but did not specifically mention rainwater harvesting in its policy documents. In 2012, however, a new initiative has been foreseen, as the government defined a programme on rainwater harvesting for the period 2012- 2016.
Rainwater harvesting has been a traditional practice in some parts of the country. In the Dogon valley, for example, people traditionally catch the water in rocks to store it for later use. However, despite the potential, the need and the local appropriateness, improved rainwater harvesting has not been high on the development agenda. In spite of some small and local initiatives over the years, rainwater harvesting has not been widely practiced nor promoted.