Small Scale Rainwater Harvesting for Combating Water Deprivation at Orphan Care Centres in Peri-Urban Areas of Lilongwe, Malawi

In urban areas of Malawi, like elsewhere in Africa, uncoordinated rapid urbanization has resulted in profuse informal settlements. These are marginal areas of urban development that are often not provided with adequate water and sanitation amenities. This is the case with high density areas of Lilongwe, the capital city of Malawi where most of the low income labour force resides. Each day, water is provided at kiosks that are filled from tanks drawn by tractors. This makes the supply of water erratic, inadequate, and unsafe for people in these high density areas. Thus, realizing that surface and ground sources of water like lakes, rivers and ponds face the challenges of intermittency, extraction and delivery problems, over exploitation, and pollution, there is a growing need to harvest and conserve rainwater where it falls. Despite its potential and the existing infrastructure, rainwater harvesting has not received adequate attention from policy makers, planners and water project engineers or managers. They consider rainwater harvesting as competing with rather than supplementary to the conventional ground and surface water source.