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10th International Rainwater Catchment Systems Conference
"Rainwater International 2001"
Mannheim, Germany - September 2001

Section 2: Rainwater Catchment in Humid and Arid Regions

Paper 2.13

Promoting Rainwater Utilisation in Oruchinga, Uganda

Charles Rwabambari


There are enormous latent potential possibilities for rainwater catchment in rural settings of Uganda and elsewhere in the world, which have not been exploited.

Water is increasingly becoming scarce both in quality and quantity in most low-income communities in the face of increasing population. Only 17.3% of the local population of Oruchinga valley has access to clean and safe water. This situation needs to be checked otherwise efforts to poverty eradication and improvement of standard of living of people in low-income communities will not achieve the desired goal. Women and children will continue to be victims of this circumstance.

This paper puts forward a case how ACORD has supported a rainwater development programme in Oruchinga valley in Mbarara District in south-western Uganda.

Methodology shift to household rainwater harvesting has created better access to potable, clean and safe water. Water is slowly becoming increasingly available for domestic use and agricultural production purposes.

This resulted from a SMART partnership of good collaboration between needy women groups, ACORD - Uganda, FAKT (Consult for Management, Training and Technologies) and Bread for the World (BftW) of Germany. The funding of rainwater harvesting and sanitation pilot project in Oruchinga valley by BftW has created a competitive and enthusiastic atmosphere among the groups undertaking the project.

More savings groups for rainwater harvesting and utilisation have emerged and are running their min-water harvesting projects on the rotational basis.

Benefits by participating women groups are manifold in terms of decreasing women and children labour, saving time and energy, increasing agricultural production and household hygiene and sanitation.

Lessons learnt from this pilot project indicate that, there is need to re-examine the current approaches in order to reach many poor unreachable. Addressing peoples felt needs; demands involving them throughout the process of project preparation, decision-making, technology choice, implementation and monitoring and evaluation. This is a core pre-condition to sustainability, replicability and increased management. Subsidies to these rainwater-harvesting groups have a positive role to play.

The donor community needs to flexibly and positively support household rainwater promotion and utilisation to achieve the World Health Organisation (WHO) global objective "water for all" where the poorest of the poor will benefit.

PDF of full document (5pp, 26kb)

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