Rooftop Rainwater Harvesting in Zimbabwe
Access to safe water remains a challenge to most people in Zimbabwe and this exposes the population to contaminated water from open wells. IRD is implementing the USAID/OFDA- supported Rooftop Rainwater Harvesting (ZimROOF) program to ensure provision of safe water to rural schools in the Manicaland province of Zimbabwe. ZimROOF works in 20 schools in four districts in Manicaland province providing safe water through the installation of rooftop rainwater harvesting (RWH) systems. Through the ZimROOF program, IRD will engage surrounding communities in water, sanitation and health training as well as demonstrate the simple RWH technology to other NGOs and local institutions.
RWH systems are simple, consisting of gutters attached to the roof and a water storage tank. RWH systems provide abundant clean water during the rainy season, when the highest incident of water borne diseases such as cholera and typhoid fever are observed. With regulated consumption and sufficient water storage capacity, RWH systems can provide drinking water all year round.
ZimROOF is a follow-up to the Peri-urban Rooftop Rainwater Harvesting Program (PROOF) implemented by IRD from 2009 to 2011. A total of $4.6 million was invested by USAID/OFDA to the PROOF program in order to provide clean water to schools and high density residential areas in Harare, Chitungwiza, and Mutare as well as the rural district of Buhera. Implemented in two phases, PROOF installed RWH systems for 2,653 households and eight schools, reaching more than 26,321 beneficiaries. All components of the RWH systems are manufactured locally in Zimbabwe, creating jobs in the local industry and the conditions for the introduction of RWH systems in the free market.
ZimROOF is funded by the USAID’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) and implemented by International Relief and Development. The project is scheduled to run from February through January 2013.