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Wednesday, 13 December 2017 11:42

Rainwater Harvesting, an alternative to water woes

Written by  Lisa Kadango Vintulla
 Chairperson for Association of Rainwater Harvesting Macpherson Nthara Executive committee members Thununu Mafuleka and Esau Mwendo at the press briefing Chairperson for Association of Rainwater Harvesting Macpherson Nthara Executive committee members Thununu Mafuleka and Esau Mwendo at the press briefing pic by Lisa Kadango Vuntulla

Lilongwe, December 13, 2017: Rainwater Harvesting Association of Malawi (RWHAM) has embarked on a campaign to create a mass movement on rainwater harvesting to adopt the practice on a wider scale to increase water sources.

Chairperson for the Association, Macpherson Nthara said this in Lilongwe on Monday when he briefed members of the Association of Environmental Journalists.

He said apart from water boards, rainwater is a viable alternative to current sources of water that could be promoted for other usage that do not require treated water.

“The country continues to face water challenges that dwindle due to population pressure and climate change hence the need to harvest rainwater,” observed Nthara.

Nthara added that rainwater harvesting systems could provide water at near point where water is needed through collecting using existing structures such as rooftops parking lots and flood plains.

“Rainwater harvesting provides a water supply buffer for use in times of emergency or breakdown of the public water supply systems, particularly during natural disasters,” stressed Nthara.

He further said rainwater harvesting is a viable initiative and that there is need to find proper channels of utilizing the water.

Nthara pointed out that 196mm of rainfall represents 19 percent runoff per annum and that 18 billion water runoff generated per annum, is a waste and a missed opportunity.

“We can take advantage of the current status of the rains and conserve water for future use to complement government efforts of reducing storm drainage and flooding in city streets,” noted Nthara.

Nthara said the campaign aims at changing the mindset of individuals, institutions and communities from looking at rainwater as a nuisance but as an opportunity for increased water supply and environmental sustainability.

He revealed that the campaign would introduce various techniques for water storage around schools and other community buildings appealing to the media to have a communication strategy on how rainwater harvesting issues could be articulated.

Speaking at the same briefing, executive committee member for Rainwater Harvesting Association, Thununu Mafuleka appealed to government to consider rainwater harvesting when constructing roads and buildings.

He said most of the roads across the country are always muddy during rainy season due to poor drainage system hence the need to conserve the rainwater for domestic use.

“Statistics reveals that about 6.8 million people who are engaged in onion farming benefit a lot through rainwater harvesting in their sells every year,” said Thununu.

He said there is need to convince the sceptics on rainwater harvest considering the looming climate change effects and create an enabling environmental policy that would see the implementation of rainwater harvesting in public and private buildings.

The association said through the campaign a number of activities have been lined up in their three year project piloting rainwater harvesting technologies on how best the communities could adopt the practice across the country.

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