International Rainwater Catchment Systems Conference
Catchment: An Answer to the Water Scarcity of the Next Millennium."
Petrolina, Brazil - July 1999
Section 2: Wordwide Experiences of Rainwater Catchment Systems
Promotion of Rainwater Catchment in Southern Africa
The Mvula Trust
P O Box 6130, Bishopsgate
Durban 4008, South Africa
Southern Africa is a drought prone region, and has suffered
two severe droughts in the last 10 years. However, the use of rainwater
harvesting in Southern Africa, even as a supplementary source of water is not
generally promoted by government policies and practices in the region.
Regional Rainwater Harvesting Programme
A programme to promote the use of rainwater harvesting, for
both domestic use and crop production, has been initiated by 2 South Africa
based organisations, The Mvula Trust, a large water and sanitation NGO, and the
Disaster Mitigation for Sustainable Livelihoods Project (DiMP), based at the
University of Cape Town. The programme is one of three disaster mitigation/risk
reduction initiatives being promoted by DiMP with support from the Department
for International Development, London.
Goals and Objectives of the Programme
The goals of the programme are
To influence community water supply policy and practice in
Southern Africa, towards the increased use of rainwater harvesting techniques.
To encourage best practice in the implementation of
rainwater harvesting initiatives.
The focus of the programme is on development organisations
directly involved in project implementation.
The participating countries are Namibia, Botswana, South
Africa, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Zambia.
Rainwater harvesting in the region
Most rainwater harvesting activity in the region is being
promoted by the NGO sector. Domestic rainwater harvesting activities, using
above and below ground storage, has been promoted in Botswana since the late
60s. In Zimbabwe, a few NGOs have successfully introduced rainwater harvesting
for crop production with small farmers in a few pilot areas. Rainwater
harvesting is traditionally practised in several areas in Mozambique, and NGOs are
promoting improvements to existing techniques. In some areas in South Africa,
particularly the Eastern Cape, households use galvanised iron tanks to collect
water from roofs with little external support. In Zambia, the Ministry of
Agriculture and Forestry, together with NGOs, supports the construction and
rehabilitation of small dams and weirs for small-scale irrigation and water for
Organisation of the programme
The programme will run at two levels. Regional activities,
to be held throughout the duration of the programme, will be attended by
representatives from all participating countries. These will consist mainly of
workshops and planning meetings.
In each country there will be a country programme. One of
the main activities will be the evaluation of existing rainwater harvesting
projects in that country. In addition, there will be workshops that will often
mirror the regional workshops.
The approach is to encourage knowledge and skills among
development organisations, and to advocate rainwater harvesting at a policy
A 3-day regional workshop has been held in Zimbabwe, and a
second workshop is planned for September 1999. Country programmes are currently
PDF of full document (6pp, 30kb)
|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.