What’s the status of rainwater harvesting in Uganda?

The relatively high annual precipitation in most regions of Uganda, make the country highly suitable for domestic rainwater harvesting interventions such as roof water harvesting. Increasingly, residents and companies take up the ferrocement tanks built on location or the mass-produced plastic tanks. National non-governmental and governmental organisations stimulated the uptake of this technology through schemes like microfinance and cost-sharing grants.

Besides the promotion of roof water harvesting, though, the potential of other rainwater harvesting measures has by and large remained untapped. Now that developmental attention focuses more on the country’s dryer districts in the formerly conflict ridden North and North East, it is likely that other technologies like subsurface dams, ponds and floodwater buffering will be taken up. The water storage capacities of natural environments, like the countries large number of wetlands, also provide a unique opportunity to combine water buffering with nature management.

What are practical examples of rainwater harvesting in Uganda?

Many organisations in the country have developed expertise on and implement rainwater harvesting tanks, particularly at schools and hospitals. Integration of rainwater harvesting in national policies has recently been established, again with a focus on roof water harvesting tanks. Governmental and non-governmental organisations are also constructing ponds, valley dams, valley tanks and earth dams to trap runoff water. In the North East of the country organisations are piloting new technologies such as sand dams, subsurface dams and a number of earth dams. The particular geo-hydrological features of this area require robust technologies that are not affected by flash floods. In these and other parts of Uganda flooding is a recurrent problem and several organisations are looking for methods to mitigate the effects. Innovative landscape-based techniques appear like a good solution, but it is not known to what extent these have been piloted and scaled up.

Learn more: contact RAIN at info@rainfoundation.org.

 

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