In each country of operation, RAIN aims to establish a Rainwater Harvesting Capacity Centre (RHCC) which can coordinate and support RWH on a larger scale within the country. The RHCC will integrate rainwater harvesting in Integrated Water Resource Management plans and governmental water policies, will actively promote the potential of RWH as part of the solution to the increasing water stress and will coordinate field activities of its national network of implementing partner organisations. The RHCCs are the core part of the RAIN intervention model. RAIN progressively transfers programme activities to the RHCCs as they develop autonomy in their function. RAIN believes that this institutional model will support and ensure project quality, sustainability and widespread up scaling of RWH.
Water scarce areas
RAIN’s strength is to reach those people not served living in (often rural) areas where other means of water supply are not sufficient or feasible, so-called type3-areas. Within these areas groundwater is not accessible or potable (due to water quality issues) and other surface water (like springs) are not available or sufficient to meet basic water needs. RAIN believes that rainwater harvesting can be an effective solution for water supply in these areas. RAIN therefore focuses on establishing partnerships with local implementing organizations intervening in priority water-scarce areas.
Participatory and Bottom-up
RAIN uses a participatory and bottom-up approach, focusing on field implementation. Sustainability is ensured by developing and strengthening local capacity. RAIN establishes long-term partnerships with IMOs that are experienced and successful in project implementation and accountable to the communities they serve. Beneficiaries will be involved in the RAIN projects starting from site selection to management. RAIN believes that sense of ownership and local knowledge will ensure a succesful and long-term impact of RWH projects.
Developing local capacity
RAIN invests considerable time in strengthening its RHCCs by trainings on (project) management, monitoring & evaluation and promotion & policy advocacy of RWH. The ImOs are strengthened by RAIN and the RHCCs on construction and design of different RWH techniques, maintenance of RWH structures, sharing experiences by knowledge exchange, user assessments, water quality monitoring and developing local water committees. RAIN strongly believes that local capacity is the key to large scale implementation of RWH and solving water problems in developing countries.
Sustainibilty in RAINs projects is assured by its participatory and bottom-up approach, which focuses on involvement of beneficiaries within the projects. Training and awareness sessions on subjects like management of water supply, hygiene practices and operation & maintenance of the RWH system form an integral part of RAINs projects. The involvement of beneficairies increases the sense of ownership and ensures the sustainability of the RWH project.
RAIN will broaden its approach to increase the positive benefits of rainwater harvesting (RWH) beyond the provision of clean drinking water through cost-effective storage of adequate water for multiple uses to support improved livelihoods and food security.
Since women and girls are primarily tasked with fetching water, RAIN involves women in planning, designing and managing RWH interventions. Women are well represented in the local water committees which manage the RWH structures. In Ethiopia, for example, six of the eight water committees established are represented by a majority of women. RAIN is working with its IMOs to further ensure that women’s water needs are understood and met through the projects by involving them in all stages of the project: from beneficiary selection through trainings to gender-aggregated water use assessments and evaluations. RAIN believes it can still improve this process and is therefore entering into partnerships with organisations working on gender issues.