A simple screening method was developed that accurately discriminates between drought and susceptible cowpea(Vigna unguiculata(L) walp). Wooden boxes (130 cm length. 65cm width. 15cm depth) made of 2.5cm thick planks were lined with polythene sheets, filled with a 12cm layer of soil and sand mixture(1.1) and kept on the table top in a screenhouse. Test materials were planted in the boxes with 10cm between rows and 5cm between plants within the row and watered daily until the partial emergence of first trifoliate, after which watering was stopped. Percent permanent wilting was recorded at various intervals for each line until the partial emergence of the first trifoliate, after which watering was stopped.