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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 6.7

Caritas' Domestic Cistern Program for the Brazilian Semiarid Zones: A Simple Initiative With a Great Result

Ivo Poletto
SDS-Edifício Venâncio III - 4º andar - salas 410/414
70393-900 BRASÍLIA DF
Fone: (061) 226-5008
Fax (061) 226-0701


I would like to show the effect of small initiatives, such as the importance of domestic cisterns, developed by the Brazilian Caritas together with rural people in the Brazilian semiarid zones. This initiative started several years ago, but has been intensified since 1998. The techniques, dimensions, the most useful ways to make sure that the domestic cistern guarantees enough water, are already well known to the Caritas and the NGOS working in the region. The concrete plate cistern is one of the essential ingredients to live with the semiarid climate, allowing the catchment of good drinking water.

The basic principle for success is community organizing. And it's here where we want to point out what we consider essential: the politics of promoting life with the semiarid climate will only be successful if they go hand in hand with a participatory methodology and valorization of local customs and culture.

We know that all catchment, conservation and water use initiatives, as well as all the necessary political steps to promote a healthy and happy life in the Brazilian semiarid regions, including an agrarian reform and irrigation politics, will only be successful if they are implemented in a democratic fashion with the participation and the promotion of civil rights for all those who live in the region.

PDF of full document (4pp, 18kb)

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