Water harvesting in Southern Ethiopia
From pilots to mainstream
Borana Administrative Zone, Oromiya Regional State, 12 communities in Yabelo District
Categories: Clean water, Ground water management
Category: Ground water management
Category: Millennium goals water and sanitation
No updates yet
- Six sand dams constructed in 2009 for 1.000 people
- Seven RWH (rainwater harvesting) systems in 2009 for 420 m3
- Developed and strengthened local capacity (5 organisations)
- Mainstreaming water harvesting to relevant (non) NGO's.
The ultimate goal of this project is ensuring improved access to safe drinking and productive use water for at least 12 communities in a critically dry rural region of southern Ethiopia through building an innovative combination of 6 sand dams and rainwater 7 harvesting harvesting tanks.
Details of current status
The prject is currently completed
Details of project plan
The project, Water Harvesting to Improve Livelihoods in Southern Ethiopia - from Pilot to Mainstreaming, has been effective from April 2007 in one of the most water stressed and drought prone areas of Southern Ethiopia, Oromiya region, Borena zone within 10 nomadic communities in phase I and 2 additional nomadic communities in phase II as part of the up scaling milestone in Yabello district.
The ultimate goal of this project is ensuring improved access to safe drinking and productive use water for at least 12 communities in a critically dry rural region of southern Ethiopia through an innovative combination of sand dams and rainwater harvesting technologies to provide an effective solution to water availability, in the short - and long-term, for communities both immediately adjacent to the catchment areas and those further away.
Having cheap, reliable, user friendly and (no running cost) water source is a dependable solution that fits the economic stratum of the resource poor community and reduce the burden of children and women who are the first to be responsible for the collection of water and watering of animals.
Furthermore, better personal health and well-being, through the acces to water, sanitation and hygiene.
Spin off and market impact
- A training in Kenia to which four NGOs attended
- A contract with Wateraid Ethiopia for 15 additional dams in the following three years
- Additional funding from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs for 32 dams in Ethiopia
- Areas where scoop wells are found are good indications for constructing productive sand dams.
- The thickness of the rainwater harvesting tanks that were built during the beginning of this project was not sufficient to resist the hydraulic pressure and hence site specific design that considers the soil and rainfall natures of the area must be in place
- The body of the dam that is constructed below the original sand bed layer has to be completed immediately after the trench excavation is completed by deploying larger number of laborers. This will help to avoid backfilling of trenches due to unanticipated floods.
- Site selection when building sand dams is of critical importance
- The water from the sand dams need to be treated before drinking
Project management lessons
- Construction of sand dams has to be started with wide enough time gaps ahead between the construction period and the anticipated starting period of the rainy season in the local area.
- Appropriate planning by considering time of migration for maximum participation of the community must be done before actual start of implementation
- Detailed planning of project budget including contingency, particularly of factory products and related items, which was found to be the most challenging constraint of this project, is the first and the most important component of project planning
- Close project monitoring and regular evaluations are a necessity
- Continuous training is needed for beneficiaries, water management committees and NGO on technical matters
- Constant awareness & networking
- Constructing sand dams;
- Constructing boreholes and water pumps;
- Constructing rainwater storage tanks.