Indigenous Rain Water Harvesting Practices for Climate Adaptation in Food Security in Dry Areas: The Case of Bahi District

This study documents techniques used by communities to improve indigenous rain water harvesting in the villages of Mpalanga and Chipanga A. Through questionnaires, focus group discussions and interviews, data on community’s willingness to accept and adapt the improved techniques was collected. The study also conducted analysis of soil types, local and non-local materials such as logs, grasses, cement as well as open spaces surrounding houses and their potential into suiting to improved techniques of rainwater harvesting. The study revealed that community in two villages harvest rain water traditionally by hanging pieces of clothes on the edge of the flat roof tops to collect and drain water into the bucket placed on the ground. They also collected runoff in open spaces surrounding their houses as well as digging shallow wells in river banks during dry season. Although the techniques are not widely utilized, the villagers came up with improvement strategies of cementing the roofs or covering it with the plastic materials as well as constructing cisterns for harvesting runoff. This study concluded that with the proposed improvement, indigenous rain water harvesting techniques have the potentials to improve water availability for domestic and agricultural production in Bahi district specifically in Mpalanga and Chipanga A villages."