How can I develop a rainwater harvesting project in Kenya? #206984 - Ask Extension


How can I develop a rainwater harvesting project in Kenya? #206984

Asked August 16, 2014, 9:59 AM EDT

Would you be willing to assist with a rainwater harvesting need in Kenya?
I am a U.S. health care professional working with a nonprofit organization in Kenya. We need this for a hospital and the livestock and agriculture in the dryland region.

Waukesha County Wisconsin

Expert Response

When I spent three weeks in Molo, all the water that was being drunk was harvested rainwater. Most of the rooftops were used to collect water into a cistern and then pumped out to where demand was. So gutters were not there for drainage but used as water channels to feed the cistern. As far as I could tell, there was no sterilization of any type (which is why I did not drink it). For a hospital, a UV filter or chlorination system would take care of the sterilization problem.

There is no need for sterilization for the livestock or irrigation needs. The problem with irrigation need is the large amounts of water needed. Having a storage big enough to handle irrigation need may be a problem. An alternative is to let your soil store it, assuming there is not an excess of water all over at any given time. Build your cistern to hold water for domestic and livestock needs and run the overflow to where your irrigation needs are. Where I was, the overflow just ran down the street. Figuring out where and how to store water is the big issue. Once you have the storage, getting the water to it is a matter of logistics.


Don Horneck Replied August 27, 2014, 2:01 PM EDT

I can help if needed but there may be better qualified than me.  The above web page is from rain harvesting  supply warehouse.  Remember the key is storage and movement.  How large of an area are you considering irrigating?  What is rainfall , rainfall pattern, ET and crops to be grown?  Basically how much stored water will you need? 
Don Horneck Replied September 05, 2014, 10:43 AM EDT

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