2010 no 01
Progress of RWH projects in RAIN programme 2009 in Nepal, Ethiopia and Burkina Faso
Funding received from the Dutch Government (DGIS) for RAIN’s programmes in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia and Nepal has given these programmes a major boost. Next to the existing programmes, RAIN set-up a two-year programme for 2009 and 2010 in these countries, upscaling its activities and promoting rainwater harvesting (RWH), while paying attention to the further organisational development of RAIN. The main objectives of the DGIS-funded programme are to introduce the sand dam technology in Burkina Faso, upscale existing RWH activities in Ethiopia Nepal, perform Research and Development programmes for the improvement of programme approaches and technologies, and further strengthen the role and activities of the Rainwater Harvesting Capacity Centres (RHCCs).
As a result, RAIN’s programme in Nepal has been moving tremendously in 2009: more than 200 RWH systems have been constructed by BSP-Nepal, Red Cross Society Nepal, Nepal Water for Health (NEWAH) and Helvetas, providing more than 1,800 m3 of water to people living in remote and hilly areas of Nepal. The water from the RWH systems will not only be used for drinking and other small domestic uses, but also for the production of biogas. These projects will serve as examples to convince other relevant actors, like the Nepalese government, who is currently starting the development of a RWH pilot programme together with RAIN’s RHCC for three districts in Nepal.
In Ethiopia, this programme was launched by ERHA, RAIN’s RHCC in Ethiopia, with a training session for RAINs implementing partners. Representatives from the Ministry of Water Resources also participated during this weeks’ trainings session, as well as international actors such as SASOL Kenya, Acacia Water and the University Amsterdam (VU). The training focussed on small-scale rainwater harvesting solutions like sand dams to combat the negative impacts of climate change, and included a field visit to project sites in the southern part of Ethiopia. A short video impression of this training can be found here. Following this training - and site verification by renowned sand dam expert Eric Nissen-Petersen - the construction of 8 sand dams and 6 below-ground tanks started in southern, eastern and northern Ethiopia to provide water for drinking and multiple uses such as hygiene, sanitation, watering livestock and productive uses for at least 4,000 people. RAIN has been spreading its implementation activities in 2009 to other regions in Ethiopia, to support upscaling within the country as well as integration of these technologies within the programmes of different implementing organisations.
In Burkina Faso, sand dams are being piloted for the first time by RAIN. RAIN has put strong emphasis on site selection by involving several experts and intensively training implementing organisations in site selection, construction and community involvement. Currently, two sand dams are under construction by two different implementing partners and approximately 10 more sites are being selected for 2010.
Baseline surveys on water use and needs in RAINs target areas
As part of RAIN’s impact measurements, baseline surveys have been performed in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia and Nepal, which aimed at providing data for comparison with future impact measurement data. The surveys mainly focus on water use and needs in RAIN’s target areas to get better insights and understanding of the water needs of the beneficiaries in the intervention areas.
In Ethiopia, there was a specific focus on the impact of climate change on the water situation. The baseline study was carried out by an external consultant and took place in Borena and Diredawa. The outcomes of this survey will in due time be published on our website. In Nepal, the baseline survey was carried out in Baglung district. The seasonal nature of the water sources and the high cost of pipeline water supply are some hurdles in the rural water supply sector. Due to limited knowledge on proper RWH, water which is passively collected from rooftops (without appropriate RWH systems) is mostly used for washing, cleaning, livestock and irrigation and not for drinking purposes. Due to the fact that there is no suitable RWH system, people collect less than 25% of the potential rain water. Hence, it was strongly recommended to RAIN to promote RWH in areas where piped water supply system are not feasible, there is an absence of permanent water sources, investment costs for water supply are high and socially excluded people. Some outcomes of the baseline survey are:
- Most of the time, people use ‘kuwa’s’ (natural springs) for their water supply which are located between 15 minutes to 5 hours (return trip, waiting and filling not included) from their houses. These kuwa’s often dry up after the rainy season.
- Other sources of water are open ponds for drinking, washing and showering, also these usually dry up in the second dry season.
- In rainy seasons, rain is being harvested in small pots from the roofs, although some roofs are made from thatch. A first-flush system is in place (people throw away the water from the first rains). The water from thatched roofs is not used for drinking, but only for other purposes. The water from other types of roofs is used for drinking and other purposes. This supports the local applicability of rainwater harvesting, since people are already familiar with the concept.
- At the schools investigated, there was no pipeline supply, hence children have to carry water to school for which they get paid a small amount per gallon.
- Beneficiaries express that low water quality of their current sources is causing diseases. For example, some villages had recorded cases of diarrhoea due to the use of water from a specific spring. This confirms the need for having access to a safer water sources than the current one (for example RWH), or for treating the water from the current source.
RAIN partner in Dutch WASH Alliance
RAIN became a partner of the Dutch WASH Alliance (DWA) consisting of six Dutch development organisations, with elaborate experience in Water, Sanitation, and Health, who have combined forces in the global struggle for water, sanitation and hygiene. The main objective is to reduce poverty and improve health, environmental and economic conditions by empowering people and creating an enabling environment, thus achieving increased sustainable access to and use of safe water and sanitation services and improved hygiene practices for women and marginalised groups. The DWA consists of Simavi, Akvo, AMREF, ICCO, WASTE and RAIN.
The DWA works with important local, international and Dutch networks to develop effective and integrated programme approaches, achieving economies of scale while still being context specific. Partners in the DWA have been working with one another in different contexts and locations, know each others’ core-competencies, and have developed a sound level of mutual trust. The DWA was formed in April 2009 by the members of an existing coordination network of NGOs working in water and sanitation, the NWP-NGO platform.
Currently, the DWA has submitted a five-year proposal towards the Dutch Government (DGIS) under the MFSII programme. Next to this, the DWA will be looking for other opportunities for collaboration on a Dutch WASH programme within their countries of intervention and will collaborate and link to existing local WASH programmes.
Dutch Channel Swimmers sponsor RAIN project in Senegal
A rainwater harvesting (RWH) project in the village of Fayako (Senegal) will be sponsored by 3 former Dutch top-athletes who are known as The Dutch Channel Swimmers. They will swim across the Channel between the United Kingdom and France to raise funds and create awareness for a project in Senegal. In this project 21 households will receive individual RWH tanks of 10 m3 each, providing water at the doorstep. The Dutch Channel Swimmers selected this project from the Akvo projects. RAIN wishes them all the luck and inspiration needed to achieve this admirable goal!
Live Earth Run for Water 18th of April
The Live Earth Run for Water on April 18, 2010 is a series of 6km run/walks, the average distance women and children walk everyday to secure water, taking place over the course of 24 hours in 192 countries, featuring concerts and water education activities to ignite a massive global movement to help solve the water crisis. For more information: www.liveearth.org (international) or www.liveearth2010.nl (The Netherlands).
In Amsterdam, the run will start and end at the Olympic Stadium after which a concert will be held for 25.000 people. The line-up consists of national and international artists like Dio, Van Dik Hout, RIGBY, Typhoon and the New Cool Collective and the Memphis Maniacs. The benefits will go to water projects all over the world. Akvo will be offering different projects that can be supported. A RAIN project in Nepal, implemented by BSP-Nepal, is one of the four projects which have been selected for the event in Amsterdam.
During the day, the RAIN team will be present to promote this project as well as create awareness on water scarcity issues within its countries as well as advocate the potential of rainwater harvesting. You can visit us in the Finish area at the RAIN stand! If you would like to promote RAIN as well during the 18th of April, you can sign up for a RAIN t-shirt! Instructions on how to get a RAIN shirt will soon follow on our website.
RAIN’s West-Africa mid-term evaluation of TMF programme 2006 – 2010
In October-November 2009, Hydroconseil carried out a mid-term evaluation of RAIN’s West Africa programme (funded by the Dutch Government). The programme runs from January 1 2006 to December 31 2010. RAIN targeted 3 countries in West-Africa: Burkina Faso, Senegal and Mali. So far, the programme implemented more than 16.000 m3 of rainwater harvesting (RWH) storage by mid 2009, providing water to approximately 33,000 inhabitants of the three countries.
The programme was evaluated against 4 criteria: relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, sustainability. The RAIN programme finds its relevance in the fact that it does bring an alternative to standard rural water supply in specific areas, which are properly targeted. But, compared to other countries where rainwater harvesting is a standard, West-Africa might not offer as abundant rainfall as in Asian or East-African countries. In relation to its effectiveness, implementation of RWH is progressing at a good pace in the three countries and local capacity has reached a satisfactory level. Improvements can be made on advocacy and lobby activities. In relation to efficiency, the programme management unit is light, and construction costs are reasonably low. The programme is not overspending money for the constructed facilities, even if the cost of the RWH technology (approx. € 82.5 pp) is higher than classical rural water supply technologies (approximately 50 € pp). This has to do mainly with the fact that these facilities are implemented in remote regions, where other sources of water supply are not feasible (too deep or contaminated groundwater, impermeable geological layers). The advocacy and lobbying capacity of the Rainwater Harvesting Capacity Centres (RHCCs) has not obtained tangible results yet, also because the establishment of RHCCs in Mali and Senegal was still in progress during the time of the evaluation. In relation to sustainability, running costs of RWH systems are very low, and the technology is quite manageable at local level (almost village level). This should ensure a good sustainability of the facilities and the service they offer, if a sufficient number of masons are trained and locally available. Moreover, local NGOs developed a significant capacity to continue the implementation of new systems, if external funding is mobilised. A concern is that RWH is not yet locally accepted as a rural water supply option in the local planning. The local governance “communes” in Burkina Faso are going to play a major role in planning water supply investments. With the planned decentralization, communes are a key player in the future of RWH. They will soon be the centre of funding and will be able to subsidise the type of works that exceed targeted household budgets. Key recommendations are:
- Upscale by increasing the coverage in the actual regions (no expansion to new regions);
- Increase the effort on advocacy;
- Next to households, target schools and public buildings (high visibility and large roof surfaces);
- Move from a 1-year budget cycle to a 2 to 3 year budget cycle to improve planning; Strengthen the involvement of local governance.
RAIN will give follow-up to these recommendations and will integrate these into upcoming projects and programmes. In conclusion, the programme is well on track, with the creation of 16,000m3 of storage capacity (80% of original target) for approx. 33,000 persons (110% of original target).
RAIN welcomes Ronald, Saskia and Lisette!
RAIN welcomes three new staff members of the RAIN team in Amsterdam: Ronald Dijk, Saskia Nijhof and Lisette Hombergen. Ronald Dijk started to work for RAIN as Programme Officer for Burkina Faso and Mali in August 2009, Saskia started as per mid February 2010 as Programme Officer Strategic Development & Partnerships and Lisette Hombergen will start as per mid March 2010 as Fundraising and Communications Expert.<//span>
Ronald has extensive experience in water projects, especially in the field of rural development and emergency relief, mainly in Asia. His educational background is in land- and water management.
Saskia has worked mainly in the field of WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) and has worked almost 6 years in Sub-Saharan Africa, of which DR Congo, Sudan and Somalia. Her educational background is in Humanitarian Assistance and Development Engineering.
Lisette has a vast experience in the field of water and sanitation working for UN and other development organisations, working amongst others in Pakistan, Costa Rica and Rwanda. Her educational background is in sociology, communication and extension & information science for developing countries.