International Rainwater Catchment Systems Conference
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
Alternative Loans for the Construction of Domestic
Cisterns in the Semiarid Region of the State of Paraiba, Brazil
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.
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