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Thursday, 14 December 2017 05:24

RHAM, NGOs, government departments geared to promote rain water harvesting

Written by  Gladys Kamakanda

Chairperson for RHAM Macpherson Nthara (r) speaks during the press briefing - Pic by Lisa Kadango Vuntulla 

Lilongwe, December 14, 2017: Rainwater Harvesting Association of Malawi (RHAM) says a number of government departments and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are now working collaboratively with the association to promote rain-water harvesting technology in the country.

RHAM has been creating awareness on the in-sit rain water harvest since its establishment in early 2000.

RHAM chairperson, MacPherson Nthara said unlike in 2003 when few organizations were implementing the water harvesting strategy, currently a number of agencies, government departments and NGOs have embarked on activities to promote rain water harvest.

He said farmers have started realizing the benefits of rain water harvesting technology, no wonder most of them are now implementing such activities.

According to Nthara, in-sit water harvesting is one of the technologies which farmers apply in their fields to reduce run-off and land degradation.

“Between 2003 to date, different government agencies and NGO institutions have intensified efforts to promote this technology and a lot of farmers are implementing it,” he said.

However, he added that there is still a long way to go to ensure that people in the urban also adopt the in-sit water harvest technology.

Nthara explained that people in the urban areas have little knowledge in the in-sit water harvesting technology and how the water industry and the private sector could utilize this technology.

On the concerns that government is not adequately funding the infrastructure and other aspects  for rain water harvest, Nthara said, “Indeed we are losing rain water through run-off and if we look at the annual precipitation in Malawi of 1937 millimeters, on average 19 per cent of that is in form of runoff translating into about 196 millimeters”.

He said looking at the total land surface area of Malawi which is about 118 000 square kilometers, it translates to about 18 billion cubic litres of water per year that is being generated as runoff.

“Much of it is just wasted, if we were able to retain this water in formal dams and other huge reservoirs, we could be able to utilize this water for different social economic development activities of our country,” he said.

Nthara observed that there is great under-utilization and that most Malawians do not value the use of this water, hence his association’s efforts to enable people realize the benefits of rain water harvest at household level as well as national level.

He said currently, government has a water resources policy which is promoting rain water harvesting in which people are encouraged to use rain water in their settlements and infrastructure development.

“But for that to happen, you need proper allocation of resources towards that and in the common discos, we do not hear much about rain water harvesting for example in power generation,” said Nthara.

He said Malawians could benefit more from rain water harvesting through reduction of siltation and also for the power company to be able to generate more power because they have harvested more rain water.

 

 

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