Improved Capacity in Rainwater Management

Since the inception of Phase I of the Global Water Partnership (GWP) Associated programme, “A Network for Greenwater Harvesting in Eastern and Southern Africa and South Asia” on 1 July 2002, the Regional Land Management Unit – RELMA has been at the helm of facilitating the promotion of decentralized participatory rainwater harvesting in Eastern and Southern Africa and South Asia.  The programme, funded by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs strengthened the Southern and Eastern Africa Rainwater Network – SearNet, to address the interlinked problems of: Poor access to and availability of water in the regions due to inadequate water harvesting infrastructure – water storage falls below 1700 m3/capita/year; Extremely low agricultural production – less than one tonne per hectare due to intra-seasonal dry spells and drought; and Poor management of rainwater – flooding, erosion, ecosystems pollution among others. Policy research and evaluation, awareness creation and capacity building on tested and proven traditional and modern rainwater harvesting technologies for agricultural and domestic use were the thematic areas used to address the above mentioned problems.

The Programme: “Improved Capacity in Rainwater Management for Sustainable Development” is a continuation or Phase II viz “A Network for Green water harvesting in Eastern and Southern Africa and South Asia” jointly implemented by ICRAF headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya and Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) based in India.   The approved period for the current phase is 1 July 2008 to 30 June 2011 with a total budget of 1.9 million Euros. Phase II essentially focuses on implementation of rainwater harvesting practices in the field.  The programme operates in “Best Practices Scaling Up Sites i.e. Best Practice SUPS” in the SearNet region and Model Projects/Rain Centres in South Asia for demonstrating at scale rainwater harvesting (RWH) interventions for increased agricultural production, improved domestic water supply and sanitation amongst the rural poor.  The SUPS shall serve as learning sites and stimulants for wider investments by governments, private sector, non-governmental organizations (NGOS) and communities in the targeted countries i.e. Kenya, Ethiopia, Malawi, Rwanda, Zambia and India.

At the World Agroforestry Centre, this Programme is anchored within the Global Research Priorities that deals with maximizing on-farm productivity of trees and agroforestry systems, i.e. GRP2. Specifically, the Programme looks at developing strategies for improved water use efficiency, productivity and conservation at farm level.

In the year 2004, due to the integration of RELMA into ICRAF, this programme was placed under the custody of The World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF).