James B. Harrington
Elevating the standard: a professionalized approach to community-based rainwater harvesting systems in Uganda
Where water resources are limited, rainwater harvesting (RWH) can provide on-site access to improved water sources. Community institutions are uniquely positioned to benefit from RWH; advocates have encouraged the installation of community-based RWH systems as a way to ameliorate water supply insufficiencies in low-income settings. However, poor quality RWH system installations and insufficient attention to management support have resulted in sustainability challenges, necessitating a commitment to higher standards for community-based RWH. Spurred on by an iterative learning cycle and commitment to innovation, the Ugandan Water Project has achieved RWH system design, installation, and management practices that are well adapted to Ugandan institutions. By investing in a professional crew, high-quality materials, and post-installation support, the Ugandan Water Project has achieved 96 per cent functionality two years after installation. The professionalized approach that the Ugandan Water Project employs can be used as a model to guide future RWH system installations in Uganda and elsewhere.