Since the tsunami of December 2004, water scarcity is a major constraint in ensuring the domestic water needs of the affected population, as the current sources are mostly either exploited or contaminated. Sea water intrusion has made many of the present sources unusable.
Therefore, people living in the affected areas are facing serious problems in getting adequate quantities of safe water for drinking and cooking, especially during the dry seasons. Ground water sources often cannot be used due to the salinisation of wells. Other wells are contaminated by latrines which are located too close to wells.
In the months following the tsunami, most of the villages were provided with drinking water provided by bowsers. In the meantime, however, the number of bowsers was reduced and the existing ones are not supplied often enough. Newly constructed houses, especially in resettled villages, often lack water supply at all, as they were built on new lands. In total, only 30 percent of Sri Lankas population have access to improved pipe water supply. In villages where pipe water is available, the supply is often not reliable and quite costly.
Rainwater harvesting is an environmental friendly, cost effective and simple activity which can be undertaken by anyone everywhere. Properly harvested rainwater is suitable for drinking. It can also be used for cooking, washing, cleaning, home gardening and sanitation purposes. A rainwater harvesting system is an independent entity with water transporting gutters and pipes, a tank and a filter.
The three years project aims at constructing rainwater harvesting tanks of 5,000 or 8,000 litres capacity for 3,100 families in the districts of Galle, Matara, Hambantota and Ampara. The beneficiaries themselves participate in the construction process and are trained for the operation and maintenance of the rain water harvesting systems.
|Duration:||December 2005 to 2009|
|Financing:||UNICEF, Aktion Deutschland Hilft, Malteser International|
|Partner:||Lanka Rainwater Harvesting Forum|