Adaptation of climate change: Rain water harvesting

locally made water tank

water tank used to harvest water

Just like other countries, Uganda has been affected by climate change leading to persistent droughts in most parts of the country which has in turn led to lack of water for drinking, washing, animals and irrigation.  Uganda has a challenge of children dying from water born diseases, as a result of inadequate water supply, and un hygienic water.

Children and women are the most involved in fetching water, a problem which has led to many being raped on the way. The long distances they travel drastically reduce their productive time, yet the amount of water they are able to collect is not enough to meet drinking, cooking and hygiene needs in homes.

Some children end up missing classes because they have to fetch water and related social problems.

According to the Uganda Water National Development Report 2008, access to clean and safe water across the country is at 60%.Where as only about half of the people in rural Uganda can access clean water.

Climate change has also led to increased drought that has in turn led to food insecurity and various water borne diseases due to un safe water most of which is got from stagnant water system and unclean wells.

Rain water harvesting is one of the major solutions to these climatic change problems.

The CELAC (Collecting and exchange of local Agricultural content) project has some examples of low cost tanks. An example to be discussed here is the above the ground brick water tank that has been constructed by some farmers.

Obure Vincent, a farmer in Tororo says “the tank is affordable to construct and yet it is very useful to us who are grass root farmers” He says that he uses his tank to feed his pigs, cows, in the vegetable garden and at times to sell water for an income during the times of water scarcity.

To construct this tank, get mad bricks and lay them using a mixture of sand and cement in a round shape to create storage of a desirable size.

Get an iron sheet and cover at the top leaving one whole for water to enter,put a basin with holes in this hole to act as a sieve of the water.

Fix a gutter round the house and trap all the water in a way that it enters the tank through the sieve. The water can then be collected from the tank and used for various purposes. Drinking water needs to be boiled or disinfected.

Compiled by Mary Nakirya /Obure Vincent

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