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9th International Rainwater Catchment Systems Conference
"Rainwater Catchment: An Answer to the Water Scarcity of the Next Millennium."
Petrolina, Brazil - July 1999

Section 6: Gender and Community Related Aspects of Rainwater Catchment

Paper 6.1

Alternative Loans for the Construction of Domestic Cisterns in the Semiarid Region of the State of Paraiba, Brazil

Fabrizio Casaretti
Progetto Mondialita--Cooperazione Italiana- ADAPTE


Since 1996 the Italian NGO Progetto Mondialita has been implementing an Alternative Loan Program, with Italian Cooperation for the construction of domestic cisterns in the semiarid region of the state of Paraiba. The overall aim of the Program is to raise the capacity for catchment and storage of drinking water in the rural communities.

We opted for the construction of cisterns due to their many positive aspects. Cisterns are the most appropriate reservoirs for the storage of drinking water.

During our two and a half years of activity, we organized and put in operation a Rotating Fund for the involved communities. So far we have been able to build 157 domestic cisterns, an average of more than 50 domestic cisterns per year.

Basically, the Program is an initial incentive- a lost fund investment - consisting of a basic amount of financial assistance, enough to support the first steps of building cisterns. The people from the community organize work parties to build their own cisterns. At the same time, they start to pay off the costs of the cisterns in small monthly payments. Once the initial investment starts dripping back into the fund through these monthly payments, other communities start to make their own construction plans.

Besides the obvious benefit of having cisterns, the project also gives employment to a technical assistant for 25 cisterns and turns into a tool for professional training within the communities.

After three years of activities, the Rotating Fund has proven to be totally self-sufficient, and could be easily implemented in other communities through the semiarid zones of Brazil.

PDF of full document (7pp, 39kb)

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