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Southern and Eastern Africa Rain Water Harvesting Network (SEARNET)
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Conventional water supply systems may not be adequate to meet the water demands of large — and rapidly expanding — human populations. In sub-Saharan Africa an estimated 400 million people will live in countries facing severe water scarcity by the year 2010. Realizing that surface and ground sources of water like lakes, rivers and ponds face the twin challenge of over exploitation and pollution, there is growing need to conserve and utilize rainwater where it falls. The Southern and Eastern Africa Rainwater Network (SEARNET) is a regional body set up to promote rainwater harvesting, the collection and storage of runoff for domestic, livestock and agriculture.
MissionTo network among its member associations within the region for the promotion of rainwater harvesting and utilization.
VisionTo improve the livelihoods of the people living in these regions through the contribution of sustainable management, utilization of rainwater and encouraging community based water harvesting.
HistorySEARNET was born during a regional workshop held in Machakos, Kenya, in June 1998. Delegates from Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Zambia and Zimbabwe attended this historic workshop while countries absent with apologies were Eritrea, Rwanda and South Africa. Thereafter, SEARNET has held a series of regional conferences to determine its future as a regional body. During a regional conference held in Livingstone, Zambia, in December 2001, delegates signed a declaration of intent for SEARNET. The first draft presentation of the SEARNET constitution was during a conference held in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, in December 2002. The process has started to register SEARNET as an international non-governmental organization.
The establishment of the SEARNET secretariat was in January 2003 in Nairobi, Kenya. World Agroforesty Centre hosts the secretariat. The secretariat will facilitate networking among member country associations. The Regional Land Management Unit (RELMA) has been the main sponsor of SEARNET conferences.
The Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) based in New Delhi, India and RELMA of Nairobi, Kenya in December 1999 jointly made a proposal to the Global Water Partnership (GWP) secretariat based in Stockholm, Sweden for a project entitled "A Network for green water harvesting in Eastern and Southern Africa and South Asia". GWP approved the proposal and arranged for funding from the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA). Project implementation started in June 2002.
Joint cross- regional activities:The CSE/GWP-AP in Eastern and Southern Africa partnership jointly implement several activities that fosters exchange of information and rainwater harvesting practices between the SEARNET and South Asia. The joint network outputs include:
- Joint website
- Biannual joint workshops
- Study tours for professionals and
- Documentation of cross-regional options on rainwater harvesting
The SearNet Secretariat
|Maimbo Mabanga Malesu