International Rainwater Catchment Systems Conference
Mannheim, Germany - September 2001
Legal and Political Aspects of Rainwater Harvesting
Through Rainwater Harvesting to Sustainable Development
Rakai district is situated in the South-western region of Uganda. The
main cash activity is subsistence agriculture. The area is one of worst
affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic and has one of the highest percentages
of orphans per household in the country.
Rakai was among the districts benefiting from the South-West Integrated
Project (SWIP) whose objective was to provide safe drinking water to rural
communities. However, the potable use of ground water was highly constrained
by poor water quality exhibited by high concentration of iron and possibly
high levels of trace elements. This meant that the only option for provision
of safe water was rainwater harvesting. Rakai receives about 800 mm of
rain annually, which made it conducive to promote domestic rainwater at
As a result the Rakai district administration looked around for partners
to assist solving this problem. Many of the families in this district
are child/widow headed households with orphans due to the AIDS epidemic
in the area. The provision of safe water would pay a major role in the
reduction of the burden for collecting water especially for the children
SIDA Nairobi was one of the partners that accepted to work with the
Rakai administration to promote domestic rainwater harvesting.
SIDA sponsored six Kenyan women experienced in water tank construction
in early 1997 as consultants together with a technician to assist Ugandan
women groups in Rakai to construct their own water jars and tanks. Two
groups benefited from the training: "Katuntu Twekambe Women's Group"
and "Bakyala Kwekulakulanya women's group." The women groups
had one common problem and a shared vision for clean and safe water. This
was all it took to get the women moving!
The groups were taught how to make 2 water tanks: a jar and a ferrocement
tank, which costs Uganda shillings 160,000 (US$ 106) and 240,000 (US$
159) respectively. The training lasted two weeks. After the training the
two women groups embarked on the construction of tanks. The District Water
Officer was very instrumental in the promotion of these groups. He introduced
them to various donors and NGOs in the district for support with materials
like cement, wire mesh etc. The district pledged to assist the groups
on technical issues, mobilization, and promotion. With the technical issues
and roles and responsibilities set the groups went to work.
PDF of full document (3pp, 16kb)
|Note: The IRCSA proceedings
section is still new and under active management, If you find any problems,
ommissions or corrections please contact
the administrator so we can put things right.