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Damsheet used to collect rain water in Nyagatare District
Water management is one of activities that have been attracting attention of different development actors especially those involved in agriculture, Water resources management, and environment protection among others.

In Rwanda, one of NBDF Rwanda’s member’s Rwanda Development Organization (RDO) has been supporting small scale farmers in Nyagatare District for effectively harvest rain water for human and animal consumption and irrigation.

In February 2021, RDO organized a three day field visit that was attended by different local NGOs and Civil societies operating in Rwanda. Among participants was also NBDF-Rwanda invited among other civil society.

The aim of the visit was to ensure that the knowledge is replicated to other areas where participating CSOs intervene.
During the three day field visit, participant got opportunity to exchange knowledge with RDO on requirements, processes and others techniques for effective Rain water Harvesting.

Participants learnt that beneficiaries are involved and responsible for excavations and other non-technical work and that Dam sheets are used for both roof top rain water harvesting as well as collection of ground water.

Also to ensure the ownership and sustainability of the infrastructures water committees are put in place to manage the infrastructure and rational use of water.
What RDO is doing on the ground?

RDO has resolved to implement the Water harvesting project after noticing that during the rainy season, large part of the rainfall is lost as runoff without being used by plants, animals or other human activity. The runoff causes erosion and flooding downstream. During prolonged drought seasons, there is no water available for human and animal consumption and for small irrigation.

To address the challenge, the organization is constructing valley dams of 500m3 capacity using dam sheets. Water is used for irrigation of the kitchen gardens around the homesteads for higher value crops such as fruits, vegetables and other crops that are more draught resistant.

Semi-underground water tanks, Dam sheets and cement-mud ponds are as well constructed to capture rain water.

Author: Lydia Mahoro
National Technical Support expert
NDF Rwanda

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