MODULE FOR A TRAINING PROGRAMME
ON URBAN RAINWATER HARVESTING FOR PROFESSIONALS FROM AFRICA
The Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), a New Delhi based non-governmental
organisation has been trying to sensitise people with regard to the
problems of 'ecological poverty' and extensive land degradation, on
one hand, and rapidly growing toxification and pollution arising out
of industrialisation and economic growth, on the other. As a part
of the organisation mandate it also promotes environmentally sound
and equitable development strategies.
Jal Swaraj Campaign and The Green Water Harvesting Network: Through
the existing jal Swaraj campaign and the green water harvesting network,
we propagate the concept of community- based rainwater harvesting
with the objective of 'Making Water Everybody's Business'. Our campaign
has been promoting this paradigm as a potential solution to address
the water crisis in both rural and urban areas. We have developed
a comprehensive strategy to further the impact of the campaign for
participatory, equitable and decentralised paradigm for water management.
CSE has played a pivotal role in generating awareness regarding water
harvesting at different levels of the society-from politicians, policy
makers, academic institutions, students to primary stakeholders which
includes citizens and civil societies.
Training programmes on rainwater harvesting - the journey so far:
For generating water literacy we have been extensively conducting
training programmes for stake holders ranging from individuals, representatives
from educational institutions, government organisations and industries,
engineers, architects, builders, contractors, plumbers and masons.
Keeping in view their needs and requirements, we have developed group
During our visit to Nairobi, we came across sufficient indications
that the capital city itself is heading towards a water catastrophe.
This was revealed to us through workshops, orientation programme ,
interaction with water experts, technocrats and politicians and media
reports. The existing scenario is further compounded by the fast deteriorating
groundwater quality. This situation is the outcome of indiscriminate
mining of groundwater reserves.
During our ten day long visit from August 24-September 2, 2003 organised
by Regional Land Management Unit (RELMA) we realised that there was
a lot of interest amongst the citizens, water experts, professionals
politicians of Nairobi to explore and know more about technical issues
involved in rainwater harvesting as a plausible solution to the impending
water crisis. Responding to this demand we, in association with RELMA,
launched an urban rainwater harvesting campaign through a daylong
workshop followed by series of them in Nairobi and Nakuru for architects,
engineers, industrialists, students, government officials and interested
To carry the campaign forward a joint decision was taken wherein CSE
was made responsible for building capacity of professionals from the
southern and eastern Africa region. This training programme would
set the pace for water movement in the region involving the local
people under the guidance of professionals and interested citizens.
The process could later be strengthened and made popular through the
efforts of these enthusiastic and committed individuals - water warriors.
They would generate consciousness and alongside work towards wide
spreading the participatory paradigm of water management. This programme
aims at imparting technical information on the concepts and practices
in urban water harvesting with regard to storage and artificial recharge.
This workshop would also help the participants in developing a sound
understanding of design, implementation and monitoring procedures.
There will be a blend of classroom lectures, on site sessions and
assignments. Exhibition on urban water harvesting and demonstrations
by means of working models would add flair to the whole programme.
- Orienting the participants about urban rainwater harvesting
concept and developments
- Ensuring learnings from traditional urban rainwater harvesting
concepts, techniques and practices in Delhi
- Imparting knowledge of designing and planning components of
urban rainwater harvesting.
- Providing practical assignment of urban rainwater harvesting
- Developing a comprehensive understanding of urban water related
developments (constraints and legislations) in Delhi by interacting
with architects, engineers and government officials to understand
- Providing opportunities for comprehensive understanding and
learning from CSE's campaign strategies
· CSE's Jal Swaraj campaign
· Orientation on traditional urban rainwater harvesting
techniques in Delhi.
· Visit to a traditional water harvesting system
· Orienting professionals on urban rainwater harvesting
concepts, systems, techniques, planning, designing, implementation
procedures and monitoring systems
· Experiences of CSE's urban rainwater harvesting
Visit to a Jamia Hamdard University to study the water harvesting
practice in the campus. And interacting with Engineers in the
university to understand implementation process
· Panchsheel park Colony
·Tihar JailInteracting with host and people involved
in water harvesting
·Tex Corp Industry Interacting with host and people
involved in water harvestingPractical training
·Jamia Hamdard University
of rainwater harvesting scheme for the new site
Travel to Chennai by flight
· Visit to raincentre
· Site visit to study water harvesting practice
· Meeting with govt officials and practioners
Return to Delhi flight (late night flight)
· Meeting with Professionals (architects, engineers)
· Government agencies (groundwater and water supply
Leaving to Mumbai
in National Museums of Kenya (NAIROBI)
National Museums of Kenya (NMK), Nairobi has become a forerunner
in providing practical solutions to the existing acute local water
problem. During May 2003 while Nairobi was experiencing monsoon,
the residents were buying water, drenched in rain, at exorbitant
rates. However NMK had a different story to narrate. This campus
spread over 17 hectare had enough water to meet its requirements.
Interestingly, museums staff were able to carry home rainwater stored
sub-surface tanks, which at that point was like a dream come true.
Rainwater harvesting in NMK was the brain child of Wambugu, botanical
manager, NMK. With the help of Regional Land Management Unit (RELMA)
and Kenya Rainwater Association (KRA) a rainwater harvesting scheme
was prepared and implemented in 2000. Major components of the rainwater
harvesting system is as follows:
- Rooftop runoff from one of the main buildings is stored in three
subsurface tanks where as that from one of the sheds in the zoological
garden is used for irrigation purpose.
- Water used by the crocodiles and other amphibians was recycled
by collecting it in a sub surface sump and later using it for
NMK is now an attraction for the local community due its rainwater
harvesting system. According to Abel Barasa Atiti, Education Officer,
NMK, during the crisis it became the most sought after site - as
it provided an easy, local and a practical solution. As recognition
to the efforts, NMK was selected for KRA's annual exposition on