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Project I

Affordable Water Harvesting Project:

According to DFID report 2005, northern Ghana has not produced the key export commodities, has received much lower inflows of remittances, and participated much less in trading activities compared to the south. These are the major factors explaining the poor growth performance of Northern Ghana. A significant proportion (around half or more) of its population is extremely vulnerable and food insecure.

A substantial majority remains poor. One of the inhibitors in this regard is access to sufficient, clean drinking water supply which is important in answering some of the problems of food insecurity. Though works by government and organisations to bring potable water to the poorer people of the nation is ongoing, the situation is still dire. The reasons are many and varied but generally speaking, the poor in our society cannot afford the capital intensive and technically complex traditional water supply systems which are widely promoted by governments and agencies throughout the world.

However, little attention has been paid to Domestic Rainwater Harvesting, a traditional practice in the country many centuries ago. The drive is enormous to improve and innovate this practice to serve us better especially in Northern Ghana where water is a major problem. Sadly, the practice has not been given the urgent attention it deserves. This is not the case as considering the general norm of supplying water to the poor in the North is sinking of boreholes. As the population continues to increase, there is fear that too many boreholes sunk in one community could lead to some drying up.

The research therefore seeks to review the current practices of Rainwater Harvesting in Northern Ghana and develop an improved rainwater harvesting system that:

  • Makes use of local materials;
  • Treats the harvested water such that it is safe for household drinking;
  • Requires less maintenance of storage systems;
  • Affordable to the poor especially women.