Training in Dress Making, Kirulapone [2016]
November 2, 2016
Hair and Beauty Care Salon [2017]
November 2, 2017

I/D/E/A/S Partnership With Lanka Rain Water Harvesting Forum (LRWHF) [2017 onwards]

 In 2017, I/D/E/A/S initiated a thematic and institutional partnership with the Lanka Rain Water Harvesting Forum (LRWHF) to promote the use of rainwater harvesting for meeting people’s water needs. A special feature of this collaborative effort was the installation and commissioning of rainwater harvesting tanks to households with family members afflicted with Chronic Kidney Disease of unknown etiology (CKDu) in the Northern, North Central, North Western and Uva Provinces of Sri Lanka.
The typical rainwater harvesting system for household use consists of either (a) a ferrocement above-ground tank of 8,000 litre capacity, constructed in-situ or (b) a prefabricated polyethylene (PE) tank of 5000 litre capacity. Rainwater is collected from the house roofs and diverted to the tanks via a system of gutters and downpipes (overall length of around 6m). The tanks are equipped with a first-flush system, filter (composed of stone pebbles and charcoal), washout for cleaning, safety lid, and tap to extract stored water.
The beneficiaries’ responsibilities and contributions included: (a) choosing a suitable tank location in consultation with the LRWHF team; (b) cleaning the surrounding area prior to construction; (c) installing a valance board over a length of about 7.5m (if not already present); (d) allowing easy access for the construction crew and material transport; (e) providing meals and accommodation for the crew during construction (4-5 days); (f) providing assistance, to the extent possible, by way of unskilled labour, supplying water for concrete and mortar, ladders etc. during construction; and (g) assigning a family member to be responsible for O&M. LRWHF conducted awareness programmes on the benefits and uses of rainwater harvesting targeted at the beneficiary households, and provided instructions and guidance on the operation and maintenance of the system after completion, supported by relevant printed material, leaflets and posters.
The success of household rainwater harvesting tank installations paved the way for extending the project to institutional level 3 years later. Thus, RWH tanks were installed at the government hospital at Rajangana Settlement Scheme Tract 5 (Anuradhapura district), the Ambanpola Divisional Hospital in the Kurunegala district, as well as at the Suwa Udana Ayurveda Hospital in Eliyapattuwa, Anuradhapura district.

Feedback from the RWH tank beneficiaries has been very positive and they remain highly appreciative of the tanks. A survey conducted by I/D/E/A/S in December 2021, four years after installation of the tanks, revealed that during the recent Covid 19 lockdown periods, the tank water had been extremely useful for the recipient householders especially when travelling to fetch water from a distance was not possible. Moreover, several beneficiaries stated that the availability of the RWH tank water for drinking and cooking purposes had resulted in beneficial effects on their CKD affected health status. They also indicated that in the recent months there was a heightened interest and demand for RWH tanks among other residents of their village.


To reflect their commitment to strengthen this collaboration and scale up operations to serve the increasing demand for RWH tanks, I/D/E/A/S and LRWHF entered into a formal Memorandum of Understanding in January 2022 for a period of three (3) years to provide financial and technical assistance to supply drinking water to water stressed households in selected areas of Sri Lanka. Under the terms of this MoU, I/D/E/A/S will provide assistance in the form of grants and interest-free loans to selected water stressed households in Sri Lanka for the installation of rainwater harvesting systems, while LRWHF will act as the Executing Agency to administer these grants and loans, taking responsibility for the installation, monitoring, servicing and repair of facilities, and to train beneficiary households in the operation and maintenance of these systems.

I/D/E/A/S has pledged up to Rupees Three Million (Rs 3,000,000) over the 3-year duration of this joint undertaking. Eligible beneficiaries will be identified through LRWHF’s extensive network and presence in several provinces and districts of Sri Lanka. Selection criteria will include factors such as distance to drinking water source, women headed households, number of young children, chronic kidney disease, disabled persons, and income level. By the enf December 2023, 80 RWHS have been installed in several districts including Badulla, Moneragala and Mullaitivu. The RWH tank types include ferrocement as well as polyethylene (PE) tanks.


The partners to this agreement also promote a scheme entitled “Well-Wishers” wherein individuals or organisations would volunteer to support and underwrite loan repayments of the neediest households and foster income generating and skills development activities among them.


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