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

Section 5: Legal and Political Aspects of Rainwater Harvesting

Paper 5.10

Low Cost Rainwater Catchment Systems for the Poor in Arid Regions: Process and Procedure

Edward Guzha
Mvuramanzi Trust


Surveys carried out by the Zimbabwe Rainwater Harvesting Association reveals that they was limited participation in rainwater harvesting activities particularly by the poor members of society. The communities during field studies gave a number of reasons for this limited participation; some of the most common reasons include the fact that;

  • Materials for rainwater harvesting were beyond the reach of many households 
  • Lack of empowerment particularly for the women, men were making major water development investment decision in the home, distance and accessibility to the water source from the home was not considered a priority venture requiring capital investment by men. Most homesteads were predominantly thatched, water harvested from thatched roof was always tainted brown and considered unpalatable, and no technology was known to make that water palatable. 
  • Lack of awareness among major water sector players on the potential of rainwater harvesting water option, most sector agencies considered large schemes such as big dams, piped water schemes and bore-holes as prestigious technologies and were not prepared to degrade themselves into implementing seemingly inferior technology options. Because of the above limitations rainwater harvesting was now being seen as an option for the well to do members of the society.

Mvuramanzi Trust attempted to come up with manuals for alternative rainwater harvesting options that address the needs of the poor communities. These training manuals were being tried in the field, the rainwater harvesting designs discussed below were also practically implemented in several districts in Zimbabwe and the performance so far is quiet encouraging. The following is the procedures and processes of installing shad cloth cover and gutter on a thatched roof.

PDF of full document (6pp, 28kb)

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