rainwater.jpgA programme to harvest clean drinking water in some Harare high density suburbs in the aftermath of the cholera outbreak of 2008-2009 is set to be expanded across the country following its success in some households in selected city suburbs.

Since Zimbabwe receives a lot of rainfall, a non-governmental organisation promoted the concept of water harvesting through collection of rainwater, which was implemented in some city suburbs such as Mabvuku, Tafara, Budiriro, Mbare and Chitungwiza.

Speaking on the sidelines of a media briefing in Harare, the organisation’s Country Director, Mr. Themos Ntasis, said after observing how the programme has assisted a lot of people since 2009, a decision had been taken to take the initiative throughout the country.

“We introduced this programme in June 2009 and I am happy to say the results have been tremendous. It is not easy for the elderly or the sick to go and fetch water but providing them with a tank at their homes has proven to be invaluable as they can also access clean uncontaminated water,” he said.

While the period for collecting rainwater is restricted to a few months during the rainy season, if the harvested water is preserved for cooking and drinking purposes only, it can be used for months after the rainy season.

Rainwater harvesting systems consist of gutters that are attached to the roof of a house and a water storage tank that is installed close to the house providing safe and clean water.

The rainy season is usually associated with high incidents of water-borne diseases such as diarrheal outbreaks, cholera and typhoid fever and the initiative is expected to greatly reduce such incidences.