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4th International Conference on Rain Water Cistern Systems
Manila , Philipines - August, 1989

Section B: Community Participation

Paper B.4

The Use Of Low-Cost, Self-Help Rain Water Harvesting Systems For Community Water Supply In Southern Kenya

Michael D. Lee & Erick Nissen-Petersen


The Mutomo Soil and Water Conservation Project has helped implement a wide range of water harvesting systems for the improvement of community water supply in the semi-arid Southern Division of Kitui District, Eastern Province, Kenya.

Several rain water cistern systems have been developed which harvest runoff water from rooftops, roads, compounds, springs and exposed bedrock. These compliment larger communal runoff water harvesting systems such as rock catchment

dams, earth dams and shallow well/sub-surface dams. They are low-cost, appropriate technologies involving a high-level of community participation in planning, construction and maintenance. Artisans selected from the local community and trained and equipped by the project have combined with women's and other selfhelp groups to install rain water tanks at most schools and public buildings in the Division.

The paper focuses on the approach adopted by the project in implementing rain water harvesting systems in a marginal, rural, semi-arid area wiih a predominantly subsistence economy. Some general recommendations and

conclusions are summarised from the experiences at Mutomo from 1982-1987 and the five standard tank designs adopted by the project and ranging from a seven cubicmetre tank system costing US $157-168, to an 78 cubic metre excavated tank costing US $690-870 inclusive are described.

PDF of full document (12pp, 440kb)

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