Rainwater Harvesting

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Primary topic: Water. Commented by Jim Perry and Sarah Czunyi (IISD); Takehiro Nakemura (Water). Waiting for comments by Mohamed Sessay (Ecosystems Management). Expert review for the main topic completed. Sent to Anna Kontorov for consolidation of the comments.| ]]



Rainwater harvesting is a technique that has been used since ancient times and still help many communities around the world, particularly those living in arid and semi arid areas. In Mozambique those techniques were promoted during the colonial period, but largely discontinued during the civil war, although several individuals’ initiatives can be found throughout the country. In an arid area like Chicualacuala, this practice has been revitalized by the JP trying to introduce alternative ways of storing water. The strategy is to build domestic tanks for some identified vulnerable families, previously selected by the local leaders in coordination with the official authorities. The first type of tanks is made with iron-cement with a system that is connected to the roof of the houses capable of collecting around 3m3 of rainwater. On the other hand the second type is done with metal sheets, with a storage capacity of 1m3 and also connected to the roofs. Important to note that this tanks are improvements made to the traditional ones already made in the District. The same concept is being applied to construct the community water tanks (90m3) in two schools of Vila Eduardo Mondlane, where we have a much bigger surface area. Local master builders, artisans and mason’s assistant have been trained, so they can easily replicate the tanks in the District. We do believe that those tanks are a valuable contribution to family well-being and a good reference for other regular families. With this experience the District will have enough experience and knowledge to build more tanks

Purpose of the activity

Being a District with water scarcity, the objective is to improve and promote new technologies of rainwater harvesting as a clear support to the regular water supply. A study was conducted on the 1st year of the project to evaluate the potential and sustainability of existing and future boreholes and rehabilitation/construction of small dams or water retention systems and irrigation schemes in Chicualacuala.

Original issue addressed by the activity

N.A No baseline study was done.

Strategy chosen to address the issue

The strategy was to train local master builders, artisans and mason’s assistant on how to build the tanks, assuring that all interested persons or families with relative better conditions (compared to those vulnerable) could afford to have them at that level.

Implementation of the strategy

Step 1: Organization of the logistics (central and local levels) Step 2: Transference of the technology to our field staff Step 3: Identification and selection of master builders, artisans and mason’s assistant Step 4: Training Step 5: Starting the process (construction of the metallic tanks and iron-cement tanks)

Challenges and Innovations

Describe any results and/or impacts achieved, positive or negative.

Results and Impacts

What kind of supporting sources are available which attest to the lesson learned? (Such evidence can be quantitative or qualitative, and come from a variety of sources, e.g. evaluation findings, program participants’ experiences, expert opinion etc. Consider the question: what’s the evidence that the lesson was actually ‘learned’?)

Next Steps

It is important to train more artisans and mason’s assistants in order to accelerate the construction of the remaining tanks before the rainy season to make sure that they are in fact good and important reservoirs for storing rainwater.

Potential replication / application

Working with the National Directorate for the development of arid and semi arid areas (D’Áridas) is fundamental to assure this transference. We do believe that this technique can be easily replicable within Chicualacuala and in other arid and semi arid areas of the country.

Information products

The publication of the Manual “Guardar a água da chuva”.


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