Govt urged to promote rainwater harvesting


In Malawi during the dry season, water crisis hits the country with its effects not sparing people as they begin to walk miles in search for water.

‘Water is life conserve it’, however it is very unfortunate that people in Malawi at all levels are losing million litres of water during rainy season year in, year out.

During the dry season, there are long queues in different water sources such as boreholes and wells and it becomes so difficult to practice farm activities as most of the sources of water are dried.

However, according Chairperson for Rainwater Harvesting Association in Malawi McPherson Nthara, this challenge can become history if government takes another step and promote rainwater harvesting.

Nthara said by not practicing rainwater harvesting, the country is losing a lot of water which could have sustained water availability both on household and national levels.

The chairperson said it is very unfortunate that there is very low patronage from government in as far as rainwater harvesting is concerned a development which he said should immediately be looked into.

“It is very unfortunate that up to now the Malawi government is not putting much effort on rainwater harvesting which could be the only solution to water scarcity challenge which becomes extremely hard especially during hot season.

“We need concerted effort from government, organizations and even the general public to put this into practice if we are to fight water scarcity in our land,” said Nthara.

The rainwater harvesting expert further added that in countries such as Kenya and Ethiopia where rainwater harvesting is practiced and prioritized, issues of dry taps, wells and dams are history.

As one way of showing seriousness with the development, Nthara has urged government to introduce loans to interested people and communities for the construction of water tanks and dams on both individual and community level.

He said this could help to promote the program claiming that there are some people who are interested in rainwater harvesting but fail to do so considering financial expenses.

“Construction of rainwater harvesting tanks needs a lot of money and there is need for government to introduce loans to interested people.

“Not only loans but there can also be an introduction of a subsidy program for construction materials and that’s one way of promoting the program, for sure if this is implemented, it could take us to another level in as far as water availability is concerned,” added Nthara.

He further explained that people can use other local ways of harvesting rainwater through diverging rainwater into their fields where there are pits and use them later for farm activities.

According to research, water scarcity is becoming rampant worldwide and it is reported that this is due to climate change and population boom which has put enormous pressure on availability of water hence harvesting rain water becoming an ideal.