Dr. Richard Cooke, Associate Professor and drainage extension specialist in the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, spent fall semester 2013 at Njala University in Sierra Leone designing rainfall harvesting systems to increase agricultural productivity in the country’s inland valley swamps. During a sabbatical leave based at Njala, Cooke initiated a study to investigate the extent to which rainwater harvesting (RWH) can impact the area’s surface water and groundwater throughout the year. RWH is a method of inducing, collecting, storing, and conserving local surface runoff for agricultural production which can promote small-scale, cost-effective irrigation. Cooke worked primarily with Njala’s Professor Rashid Noah, and two PhD students he is supervising, Mr. Mohammad Blango and Mr. Patrick Sawyerr. More information on this research is available on our International Programs website.