plan 26Rooftop Rainwater Harvesting in Afghanistan

Summary

Povision of Drinking Water in 10 remote schools in Afghanistan

Background

For hundreds of years rural communities all over the world have been collecting rainwater where it falls. In their fields, in open tanks and in traditional open wells. It was a technology that was accepted and applied on a large scale in the deserts, trib

Location

Andkhoy, Faryab, Afghanistan

Attachments

  • Doc Afghanis...

Focus

Primary Focus: Drinking Water - Schools
Secondary Focus: Sanitation - Schools

People Getting Safe Drinking Water: 8,000

School Children Getting Water: 8,000

People Getting Sanitation: 8,000

People Getting Other Benefits: 8,000

Application Type: Project Funding

Start Date: 2006-10-09

Completion Date: 2006-10-09

Technology Used:

It is difficult to imagine what has prevented engineers from encouraging the widest application of roof top harvesting in remote rural communities where it is financially and technically impossible to provide safe drinking water throughout the year.

To engineers the provision of drinking water has always be considered a technical problem. To the poor rural communities the provision of and access to drinking water has always been a social problem. Problems of the wrong choice of technologies, problems of wastage of water, problems of corruption, problems of centralized systems of distribution, management and control marginalizing the communities are real and immediate and urgent and are indeed all social problems. But this is beyond the comprehension and competence of technical engineers to understand, appreciate or even accept.

No longer can remote rural schools wait for the technical solutions to provide them drinking water. All the solutions they have offered have failed. Neither hand pumps nor piped water supply systems have worked. Alternatives have to be found. Roof top rain water harvesting in schools is one such alternative that has worked.

Phases:

Single

Community Organization:

The methodology employed by the college is to train architects and craftsmen, many of which may be illiterate, in the construction techniques. These people then become known as "barefoot water engineers".

The critical role of the members of the Barefoot College includes:

organizing meetings in villages where rural communities have submitted written requests for assistance with building rainwater harvesting tanks. During these meetings, sites are selected. If the proposed land belonged to a private party, the title of the land must be surrendered to the village by the owner so that it becomes common property.

creating Village Water Committees (VWCs) comprising an equal number of men and women;
opening bank accounts to be jointly operated by one man and one woman member of the VWCs;

training VWC members in simple book- and record-keeping;

selecting the sites for the construction of the rainwater harvesting tanks and, with the help of barefoot architects and VWC members, designing the dimensions of the tanks;

monitoring the implementation process with rural communities; and
handing over the operation of the rainwater harvesting tanks once they have become operational and a social audit has taken place.

A social audit is a village meeting during which all the accounts are displayed for open scrutiny. All villagers have the opportunity to raise queries related to construction expenses. Once approved by the meeting, the rooftop rainwater harvesting structure is formally handed over to the villagers managed by the VWCs.

As described above, as well as support from national and international donors, local villagers greatly contribute to the construction of rainwater harvesting systems. Among the villagers, those that are able make direct cash contributions. If this is not possible, villagers give two days in a month voluntary labour towards the work involved in the construction of the system. Together, such local inputs contribute about 10 per cent of the total construction costs. In addition, wherever possible, local materials such as bricks, cement, gravel, limestone, sand, stone slabs and hand pumps are used to construct the systems.

Keeping records of these inputs, and indeed much of the success of the whole Barefoot College rooftop rainwater harvesting programme, relies heavily on the VWCs. In villages where rainwater harvesting structures are to be constructed, VWC members are responsible for selecting supervisors to be trained as "barefoot managers". These supervisors are responsible for overseeing the work being undertaken and also for keeping a record of the number of people working at the site. The Barefoot College organizes three-day workshops for the barefoot managers to train them in the allotment and measurement of work, the maintenance of muster rolls and labour cards, the disbursement of wages and financial record keeping. VWC members are also responsible for inviting tenders for the purchase of construction materials, approving the design of the system developed by barefoot architects, and finally giving a written guarantee of its longevity and durability.

The process of installing and maintaining the rainwater harvesting structures has the built-in innovative component of being community managed through the formation of Village Water Committees (VWCs). Other community partners included labourers, schoolteachers, community elders and the headperson of the village council or panchayat.

Government Interaction:

Ancillary activities:

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Other Issues:

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Maintenance Revenue:

nil

Maintenance Cost: $0

Metrics:

Prior art before metrics

Cost: $121,601

1) Material & Labor Transportation = $9045
a) Stones
b) Cement
c) Iron bars
d) Handpump
e) Manhole Lids
f) Ventilators
g) Connecting Pipes
h) Labor
i) Transportation of Materials

2) Documentation =$500
5) Others= $ 29
4) Monitoring and Supervision = $ 1000

Total USD 10,574.

Co Funding Amount: $61,601

Other organisations

Community Contribution Amount:

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Fund Requested: $60,000

Implementing Organization:

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Attachments

  • Doc Afghanis...
  • 1 participant | show more

    Rainfall pattern

    Marcella D'Souza of Watershed Organization Trust

    What is the average rainfall and its pattern. Whether the collected rain water is being stored in the ground water storage tank? and after purification is it used only for drinking purpose by the school children or other community too. Approximately how much water is being collected and how long does it last.

    What is the average rainfall and its pattern. Whether the collected rain water is being stored in the ground water storage tank? and after purification is it used only for drinking purpose by the school children or other community too. Approximately how much water is being collected and how long does it last.

  • 1 participant | show more

    Linkage to water source

    Marcella D'Souza of Watershed Organization Trust

    Is this collected rainwater being connected to the drinking water sources such as bore well, open well, ponds etc.

    Is this collected rainwater being connected to the drinking water sources such as bore well, open well, ponds etc.

  • 1 participant | show more

    water purification and speed of implementation

    Idriss Kamara of Safer Future Youth Development Project

    is the water used as it falls from the sky or do you purify it - how? what method do you use to create 10 tanks in one day? ;) the technology used is not described (the text there is background history)

    is the water used as it falls from the sky or do you purify it - how?
    what method do you use to create 10 tanks in one day? ;)
    the technology used is not described (the text there is background history)

  • 2 participants | show more

    Org issues?

    Rajesh Shah of Blue Planet Network

    Have not heard from any of the six members of the organization. Several emails have been sent. Hope they are okay - is the organization alive?

    Have not heard from any of the six members of the organization. Several emails have been sent. Hope they are okay - is the organization alive?

    • Idriss Kamara of Safer Future Youth Development Project

      ...at least the director was alive two weeks ago, when he was visiting our organisation :) greetings!

      ...at least the director was alive two weeks ago, when he was visiting our organisation :)

      greetings!

  • Rating: 8

    review by (only shown to members)

    Sufficient information on technology and community organization. Perhaps the project background could discuss how these specific 10 remote schools have been selected, given that the rest of the application describes Barefoot's system in general.

  • Rating: 10

    review by (only shown to members)

    Excellent work performed by the Barefoot Engineers in the implementation technique and methodology used for roof water harvesting.

    The village community is motivated and organised by the local barefoot water engineers to plan, implement, execute and monitor the activity. The transparency is being maintained through a social audit. The people's contribution @10% of the total cost and donation of land by the landowner to the villagers helps to develop the ownership on the developed assets.

    After the completion of the activity the assets are handed over to the village community. The water sources are strengthen through diversion trench on the mountain to collect rainwater in water harvesting bodies. This helps to recharge the ground water level in tube wells, open wells and other water sources.

    The management cost works out to 13.4% against the total cost which is quite reasonable.

  • Rating: 7

    review by (only shown to members)

    we know the barefoot college and we also implement RWHT ourselves, so we are convinced that the project will be sucessful. However, their application needs some improvement.

  • Rating: 9

    review by (only shown to members)

    Good application. Would be interesting to see a discussion of the social acceptance of rainwater harvesting in Afghanistan as well as plans for long-term sustainability.

Name Status Completion Date Amount Assigned
Rooftop Rainwater Harvesting in Afghanistan Complete - Successful Dec 2006 $24,000