Provision of safe and cheap water for rural areas: rainwaters harvesting with ferrocement tanks

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University of Dar es Salaam
It is becoming increasingly difficult for the Governments in most African countries to provide potable water to their populace, while the performances of existing facilities are very erratic. There is therefore the need to seek safe and cheap alternative sources. Groundwater in most coastal areas, as the case in project area, generally are unsuitable because of high concentrations of dissolved salts; hence the need to consider other sources of which the age long traditional rainwater harvesting comes to mind. The term rainwater harvesting, as practiced today includes the collection of natural precipitation from various prepared watersheds. This study however stresses the harvesting of rainwater from existing roofs. Suitable roofs include those constructed of galvanized iron sheets, concrete, asbestos sheets and tiles. Rainwater is generally of good quality if collected from a clean surface and maintains these qualities if the storage is clean and prevented from contamination. This study established the adequacy of rainfall in the study area, realizing that the greatest limiting factor in the effective utilization of rainwater is the lack of cheap and adequate storage facilities. The search for safe and cheap storage media led to the consideration of ferrocement tanks. Simple guidelines for design and construction is considered. A ferrocement tank was built in chalinze for costing, demonstration and teaching purposes. Cost of ferrocement tanks are cheaper when compared with tanks built of other materials. They are easy to build, and make use of local materials which are in most cases easily available and affordable. Results from this study show that rainwater haversting with the use of ferrocement tanks is a promising method of safe and cheap water for the rural areas. Some recommendations are made with the aim of propagating this practice in the other parts of the country.
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Rain water, Collection and use, Water, Rain and rainfall, Drinking water, Tanzania
Ilesanmi, S. O. (1990) Provision of safe and cheap water for rural areas: rainwaters harvesting with ferrocement tanks, Masters dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Available at (