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Meet the Rainwater Champions – Stories from Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda

Rainwater harvesting and water buffering comes in many forms. For example, rainwater harvesting ponds catch and store rainwater; 3R techniques (Recharge, Retention and Re-use of water) increase the level of water in the soil; and sand dams retain water in the banks of seasonal rivers.

Women from the Sikika Self Help Group in their Greenhouse in Makueni County, Kenya. Photo by Elsabijn Koelman/ICRAF

Women from the Sikika Self Help Group in their Greenhouse in Makueni County, Kenya. Photo by Elsabijn Koelman/ICRAF

A new publication, ‘Rainwater Champions – Stories from Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda’ contains a selection of impact stories that offer useful insights on what it is that makes rainwater harvesting work and how it can improve livelihoods in rural areas.

From Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda, interviews were conducted with several farmers that were part of rainwater harvesting projects. Some of these projects were made possible with the technical and financial support of RAIN (the Rainwater Harvesting Implementation Network) as well as by World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) and SearNet.

In Kenya, Alex Oduor, programme officer with the water management unit at ICRAF’s Eastern and Southern Africa regional office, together with Elsabijn Koelman, communications officer with the same unit at ICRAF, went out into the field to collect impact stories and interview farmers.

The interviews with champion farmers in Kenya, such as the interview with a former chief Samuel Maingi from Mango town, demonstrate how much willlpower and dedication some of these farmers have. Samuel explained how he teaches his community to take up rainwater harvesting techniques. Since illiteracy prevents several of his community members from reading books, manuals and documents, Samuel says:  “I give seminars and I see them (the community) change slowly.” Samuel teaches his community some of the important lessons he has learned, like how drip irrigation helps him use his water resources more efficiently.

Champion farmer Samuel Maingi from Mango Location in Kenya demonstrating his hand pump. Photo by Elsabijn Koelman/ICRAF

Champion Farmer Samuel Maingi from Mango Location demonstrating his hand pump. Photo by Elsabijn Koelman/ICRAF

“If more people know about rainwater harvesting, the community can flourish,” Samuel says.

None of the successes portrayed in the booklet would have been made possible without the commitment, spirit and hard work of local people who were interviewed. The rainwater harvesting champions in the book are a mixture of both men and women, old and young, hard workers and entrepreneurs.

Download the booklet to read more about the Champion Farmers in Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda, and how rainwater harvesting has improved livelihoods: Rainwater Champions – Stories from Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda

Watch video:

Rainwater Harvesting Champions from RAIN on Vimeo.

Blog by Elsabijn Marike Koelman, Junior Programme Officer at the Water Management Unit at ICRAF


Other Relevant Links

SearNet Website: http://searnet.net/
Rain4Food: http://rain4food.net/
RAIN Foundation http://www.rainfoundation.org/
Elsabijn Koelman’s YEP Water blog: http://rsr.akvo.org/en/project/2043/

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